What is Cognitive Science

The social nature of learning

Dr. Pat Shafto

Thursday, November 13, 2014, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

University of Louisville, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

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Research in cognition has primarily focused on understanding learning as belief updating in light of data. I will argue that this asocial approach overlooks a key source of the power of human learning. Using a computational and behavioral methods, I will present three lines of evidence illustrating the importance and potentially foundational role of social reasoning in learning. First, situations in which data are chosen by a knowledgeable and helpful informant lead to inferential affordances not licensed by the data alone, and children and adults leverage these affordances. Second, tracking who is knowledgeable and helpful is thus important for learning, attended to by the onset of formal schooling, and a malleable factor for affecting educational outcomes. Third, a presumption of helpful informants leads to an a priori account for observed concept learning biases.

Dr. Pat Shafto

"What is Cognitive Science?"

This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.

The talks in this lunchtime lecture series are every Thursday during the Fall semester from ** 12:00-1:00 ** in the Psychology Building, Room 101 on  Busch Campus.

Note: Talks are also announced by email (with reminders sent the day of the talk) to people who have requested to be placed on our announce list. If you would like to be added to our announce list, please email the Business Office (business_manager@ruccs.rutgers.edu).