Natural vs. verbalized ability

In Western Academics, it is taught that the ability to verbalize and describe something is indicative of the understanding one has regarding that topic.

If students are given three words and asked to answer what connection the words have, or if there is no connection, an interesting thing will happen. The students will be able to answer with a certain degree of accuracy. But, if in the middle of the exercise, if they are asked whether or not they think they will be able to find the connection between words, they will do so with uncanny accuracy.

So if you think about “water”, “salt” and “fish”, you will feel that they are connected. After feeling that they are connected, then you will say “sea” or “ocean”.

The point is that there is a great degree of merit in a naturalistic knowledge that is more basal for humans than is sometimes understood in Western understanding. With many more neurons in the brain involved in subconscious cognition, not to mention the millions located in the gut, it seems we’re smarter than we think, when we think, we are.

Also, if anyone can remember where this study was done, please comment! Thanks.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Natural vs. verbalized ability

  1. The study is taken from Daniel Kahneman’s book “Thinking, Fast and Slow”.

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