Monday, November 03, 2008
Explanatory Neurophilia - seduction without cause
Trout discusses the work of Weinberg (mentioned in a previous post) who has shown in a series of experiment how non-expert consumers of behavioral explanations assign greater standing to explanations that contain neuroscientific details, even if these details provide no additional explanatory value. He discusses the part that this ‘placebic’ information might play in producing a potentially misleading sense of intellectual fluency and, consequently, an unreliable sense of understanding. I'm passing the article on to you here.