Exploring Science

The Cognition and Development of Discovery Processes

Einstein said that "the whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." David Klahr suggests that we now know enough about cognition—and hence about everyday thinking—to advance our understanding of scientific thinking. In this book he sets out to describe the cognitive and developmental processes that have enabled scientists to make the discoveries that comprise the body of information we call "scientific knowledge."

Over the past decade Klahr and his colleagues have conducted extensive laboratory experiments in which they create discovery contexts, computer-based environments, to evoke the kind of thinking characteristic of scientific discovery in the "real world." In attempting to solve the problems posed by the discovery tasks, experiment participants (from preschoolers through university students, as well as laypersons) use many of the same higher-order cognitive processes used by practicing scientists. Through this work Klahr integrates two disparate approaches—the content-based approach and the process-based approach—to present a comprehensive model of the psychology of scientific discovery.

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword

    Herbert Simon

  2. Preface
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. 1. Investigating Scientific Thinking: Why and How
  5. 2. Scientific Discovery as Problem Solving
  6. 3. A Paradigm for Investigating Scientific Discovery in the Psychology Lab

    with Kevin Dunbar

  7. 4. Coordinating Dual Search: The Role of Evidence

    with Kevin Dunbar

  8. 5. Developmental Aspects of Scientific Reasoning

    with Kevin Dunbar and Anne L. Fay

  9. 6. Further Explorations of the BT Experiment Space

    with Anne L. Fay, Kevin Dunbar, and David Penner

  10. 7. Multiple-Space Search in a More Complex Discovery Microworld

    Christian D. Schunn and David Klahr

  11. 8. Discovery Discoveries
  12. References
  13. Author Index
  14. Subject Index