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Deena Skolnick Weisberg, Villanova University

Constructing Science: Thinking and Reasoning in Children and Adults

Deena Skolnick WeisbergYoung children have remarkably sophisticated capacities for causal reasoning, which are part of the foundation of their scientific thinking abilities. But older children and adults often fail to reason appropriately about scientific issues. This talk first traces the ways that young children’s causal reasoning abilities develop into a more mature set of scientific thinking abilities. Then, it considers the ways that these abilities contribute to adults’ acceptance of scientific claims.

Deena Skolnick Weisberg is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Villanova University, where she directs the Scientific Thinking and Representation (STAR) Laboratory. She is also the co-director of the Galápagos Education and Research Alliance (GERA), a partnership between universities and Galápagos community members to promote science and conservation in the Galápagos Islands. Weisberg earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University and received postdoctoral training at Rutgers University and at Temple University. Her research interests include scientific thinking and reasoning in children and adults, the development of imaginative cognition, and the roles that the imagination plays in learning.