Source: Leonid Rozenblit & Frank Keil, "The Misunderstood Limits of Folk Science: An Illusion of Explanatory Depth" in Cogn. Sci. (2002)
The Main Ideas.
- We are uniquely overconfident when it comes to explanatory knowledge (knowledge that involves complicated causal links even in areas where complexity is minimized)
- Some causes for this particular overconfidence include assuming that understanding higher level structure necessarily extends to subcomponents and lack of opportunities to test one's explanatory accuracy.
- Writing and debate help with the second cause, perhaps I hold both in high regard.
- It's important not to dismiss heuristics; the illusion of explanatory depth is problematic when using heuristics carelessly or failing to understand that a heuristic is being used to begin with (e.g., the map != territory).