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Science Café to discuss reasoning of physics experts, novices

NDSU’s next Science Café will explore intuition and how it impacts reasoning in physics.

Mila Kryjevskaia, assistant professor of physics, is scheduled to present “Intuition and Reasoning in Physics: Experts vs. Novices” Tuesday, April 14, at 7 p.m. in Stokers Basement, Hotel Donaldson in Fargo. It’s free and open to the public.

Intuition often is an essential component of expertise in many fields, including physics. Physics instructors often emphasize they want their students to develop physical intuition. However, the physical intuition of experts is distinctly different from that of novices.

In addition, studies suggest that, instead of applying the appropriate knowledge and skills learned in class, some novice learners tend to rely on intuitive ideas that lead to erroneous conclusions.

Kryjevskaia will apply the dual process theory of reasoning and decision making developed by phycology researchers. The theory asserts that human cognition relies on two largely independent thinking processes.

The first is fast and intuitive, while the second is slow, logically deliberate and effortful. In many cases, the two processes yield different results. Kryjevskaia will discuss the role of each process as well as the interaction between the processes in the reasoning of physics experts and novices.

Kryjevskaia earned a doctorate in physics from the University of Washington.

Attendees must be 21 or older or be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, contact Diane Goede at diane.goede@ndsu.edu or 701-231-7412.

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