Counterfactual Problem Solving and Situated Cognition 943
PhD in Philosophy, Associate Professor, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russia
Student, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Moscow, Russia
Student, Gymnasium #1514, Moscow, Russia
The paper describes and interprets data of a study on counterfactual problem solving in representatives of modern industrial culture. The study was inspired by similar experiments carried out by A.R. Luria during his expedition to Central Asia. The hypothesis of our study was that representatives of modern industrial culture would solve counterfactual puzzles at a slower rate and with higher numbers of mistakes than similar non-counterfactual tasks. The experiments we conducted supported this hypothesis as well as provided us with some insights as to how to further develop it. For instance, we found no significant differences in time lag in solving counterfactual and ‘realistic’ tasks between the subjects with mathematical and the ones with liberal arts education. As an interpretation of the obtained data, we suggest a two-stage model of counterfactual problem solving: on the first stage, where situated cognition dominates, the realistic situation is transferred into the system of symbols unrelated to this very situation; on the second stage, operations are carried out within the framework of this new system of symbols.
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