Minds on Math:

How Young Children Understand Probability
and Statistics — Sometimes Even Better Than Adults!

featuring Alison Gopnik

Wednesday, January 25 at 6:00 pm ET (New York)

(in person)

For a long time, developmental psychologists have thought that young children were “scientists in the crib,” making sense of their everyday experience and using it to construct “intuitive theories” of the things and people around them.  Scientists, of course, use mathematical tools in statistics, probability theory, causal inference, and experimental design to go from data to theories.  Many psychologists have shown that human adults are bad at explicitly understanding and mastering these tools.  But recent work shows that even very young children are surprisingly good at doing this unconsciously and implicitly.  Join Dr. Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley, as she describes work from her lab and others’ over many years that shows just how good children are at using conditional probabilities and Bayesian inference to draw causal conclusions — sometimes even better than adults!

The Minds on Math series is a collaboration between the Lab for the Developing Mind at NYU and the National Museum of Mathematics.  To learn more about the Lab for the Developing Mind at NYU, visit labdevelopingmind.com.  This program is provided free of charge to all participants.

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