100 things Wiki

If I know something about frogs, I believe I know something about toads. I probably have a vaguer guess about turtles, but I still have something, courtesy of my frog knowledge. I intuitively understand that individuals within groups share qualities and can use this adaptively, even if I've never been told anything about toads or turtles. But my impressive frog knowledge is not so impressive, because lots of neat (quintessentially cross-cultural!) designs in the literature on folk biology demonstrate that just about all individuals tested (young and old and every manner of language and rearing) intuitively reason within and across hierarchy levels in roughly the same ways. We as humans necessarily, intuitively reason by hierarchy about biological matters.

And while folk biology is the big one, indidividuals share similar ideas in other domains. Folk physics research says we share similar intuitive notions about the trajectory of objects in flight, for example. Well duh - gravity works the same no matter who you are, and we observe its actions some huge number of times per day, so why wouldn't we all share such intuitive notions about physics? Ah, but you assume your notions are *correct*. There are very compelling examples of everyone sharing the same *erroneous* notion of physics. You and parallel universe you (who was raised on Mongolian steppes without mass culture) both make the same guess about how an object would fly off a cliff, even though the guess is fundamentally wrong and it is impossible that y'all ever observed it. You're also both equally useful around frogs and toads. And all in a way that is superficially not owed to the core cognitive competencies that you share and that make up the other 99 items of this list - selective attention and working memory and associative principles. It's wonderful!

^^ But tweet length

Kubricht, J. R., Holyoak, K. J., & Lu, H. (2017). Intuitive physics: Current research and controversies. Trends in cognitive sciences, 21(10), 749-759.

Medin, D. L., & Atran, S. (2004). The native mind: biological categorization and reasoning in development and across cultures. Psychological review, 111(4), 960.