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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Folkbiology

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Abstract Recent work in cognitive science suggests that children have framework theories unique to specific domains such as physics, psychology, and biology that provide causal explanations and support predictions about phenomena within them. They further guide how children develop the later theories of adults, both formal and informal. In this article, we focus on a particular framework or naïve theory, folkbiology, and review debates concerning how it ought best to be characterized, its origins and developmental course, whether aspects of it can be said to be universal to people in all cultural settings, how it informs our understanding of the brain, and what implications it has for science education. In so doing, we discuss how the cognitive scientific study of folkbiology takes us across disciplinary bounds into related work in the philosophy of science, cultural anthropology, neuropsychology, and education. WIREs Cogn Sci 2012, 3:105–115. doi: 10.1002/wcs.150 This article is categorized under: Psychology > Development and Aging

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