Mon, 7 May 2012
Alison Gopnik speaks about her research toward understanding how young children acquire their picture of the world -- especially the ways in which they seem to develop, test, and amend hypotheses not unlike the methods of scientists. What sparked the interviewers' interest, however, was a widely read essay she published in a January 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal, titled "What's Wrong with the Teenage Mind". There she offers both an evolutionary understanding of why making the transition from childhood to adulthood is so prolonged and problematic today -- and what can be done to improve the situation. Gopnik is a professor of developmental psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of The Scientist in the Crib and The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love and the Meaning of Life.