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So. Calif.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is unintentionally quite funny, IMHO ... or maybe I should be flabbergasted? --
http://mc.psychonomic-journals.org/content/34/8/1667.full.pdf

Article is a study by a psychologist

" ... Recent research has suggested that people often overestimate
their ability to explain how things function. Rozenblit
and Keil (2002) found that people overrated their understanding
of complicated phenomena. This illusion of
explanatory depth was not merely due to general overconfidence; ..."

The study specifically evaluated people's beliefs about what they think they know of a bike.

Abstract
"When their understanding of the basics of bicycle design was assessed objectively, people were found to make frequent and serious mistakes, such as believing that the chain went around the front wheel as well as the back wheel.

Errors were reduced but not eliminated for bicycle experts, for men more than women, and for people who were shown a real bicycle as they were tested. The results
demonstrate that most people’s conceptual understanding of this familiar, everyday object is sketchy and shallow, even for information that is frequently encountered and easily perceived. This evidence of a minimal and even inaccurate causal understanding is inconsistent with that of strong versions of
explanation-based (or theory-based) theories of categorization."

The test subjects were typically shown sketches of "bikes" ... even when the front fork was rigidly triangulated into the frame's main "diamond", ie incapable of turning, and some people would still select it as "correct" !!

of course, who the author called "bike experts" really were not -- but the main theme is that many/most people are clueless of everday objects around them, but they are overconfident in their self-perceptions.

Relates to another classic article, where incompetent people don't consciously know they're incompetent. Be careful when that person is your doctor, dentist, or bike mechanic ;-)
 

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Not news

tom_h said:
This is unintentionally quite funny, IMHO ... or maybe I should be flabbergasted? Recent research has suggested that people often overestimate their ability to explain how things function.
Really? And from reading this forum we didn't already know that? :)

Can we please hear from the people who think that rotating weight is more important than non-rotating weight when hill climbing "because you're accelerating all the time," or that riding at 20 mph on flat roads requires 1000 calories per hour, and other examples too numerous to mention.

My bicycle mentor (Gene Portuesi) had a sign in his shop: "Those of you who think you know everything are a pain in the a$$ to those of us who do!" Nuff said :)
 

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oh lonesome road for you
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Thanks, that was fun to skim through.

I wonder how I would do on a similar test with an object I was less familiar with. The bicycle answers were obvious to me, but I live, breathe, and work with bikes, so it's not a fair comparison.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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Kerry Irons said:
Really? And from reading this forum we didn't already know that? :)
you should wander into the lounge once in a while.......this place ain't nuthin!
 

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Noob as per thread 227982
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I like figure 3 in the paper, the one who "cycled most days" drew a bike with what looks like mirrors and a rear derailleur but still had the chain around both wheels and the cranks both pointing the same direction.

Is it even funnier that all the test subjects were college students, prospective college students, or parents of college students?
 

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So. Calif.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Let me be the first to point out in the article,

" ... many people (but especially women) cannot specify the correct
position of the bicycle pedals and chain. They do not appear
to understand a simple set of causal relations (turning
the pedals turns the chain that spins the back wheel that
drives the bicycle forward); therefore, they do not know
how turning the pedals moves a bicycle. ... "

The author is a woman, so I guess she gets a 'free pass' for uttering such blasphemous phrases.

A former president of Harvard University, Larry Summers, was forced out in large part because he suggested that it might be worth studying whether and if there were any innate biological differences to account for men's and women's different math aptitudes.
Political correctness run amok.​
 

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Opus51569 said:
Wait! Wait! So the chain doesn't go around the front wheel???
it does if you are locking to a tree......just saying
 

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tom_h said:
Let me be the first to point out in the article,

" ... many people (but especially women) cannot specify the correct
position of the bicycle pedals and chain. They do not appear
to understand a simple set of causal relations (turning
the pedals turns the chain that spins the back wheel that
drives the bicycle forward); therefore, they do not know
how turning the pedals moves a bicycle. ... "

The author is a woman, so I guess she gets a 'free pass' for uttering such blasphemous phrases.

A former president of Harvard University, Larry Summers, was forced out in large part because he suggested that it might be worth studying whether and if there were any innate biological differences to account for men's and women's different math aptitudes.
Political correctness run amok.​
Making the suggestion and seeing naturally occurring gender differences within a data set I think are very different things in most people's eyes. One is science, one is gender bias.
 

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Yeah and the data set in Summers' case is real life. Take a walk around any tech company and see if you don't wonder the same thing.
 

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Nature vs. nurture. Does our educational system and culture provide women with the ability to florish in stereotypically male dominated fields like math and engineering?
 

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krisdrum said:
Nature vs. nurture. Does our educational system and culture provide women with the ability to florish in stereotypically male dominated fields like math and engineering?

Ability? No, that's God given. Opportunity? Yes.

As with a man being a nurse, the opportunity is there if he WANTS it. The cool thing about the USA is that you can be almost anything you want......................as long as you want it bad enough to do what it takes.
 

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When I was in school 15 years ago women were given every opportunity in engineering at the expense of men. There were special scholarships and it was easier for them to get accepted into the top schools. Girls have been encouraged since at least the 1980's from a young age to do well in the sciences because this gap was seen as a problem back then. It has upped the number of women in the engineering considerably but for the most part it's still the men that prefer this field.
 

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dwgranda said:
When I was in school 15 years ago women were given every opportunity in engineering at the expense of men. There were special scholarships and it was easier for them to get accepted into the top schools. Girls have been encouraged since at least the 1980's from a young age to do well in the sciences because this gap was seen as a problem back then. It has upped the number of women in the engineering considerably but for the most part it's still the men that prefer this field.

And if there was a men only scholarship, the women would scream sexism and discrimination.
 

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Yep. And I acutally took some classes to become a nurse because they make bank. No one discouraged me or culturally impinged on my ability to take these classes because it's traditionally a woman's field. Tons of men in my classes too (most of them). Not aware of male only scholarships for nurses, although they may exists. For sure they don't advertise them too hard. Maybe once I get farther I'll get to experience if there's gender bias against me. I'm not holding out hope that anyone will take up my cause though :)
 

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Kerry Irons said:
I don't think so. That's some water I don't want to wade in!
ya might not want to drink it either.....seriously!
 

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"understand a simple set of causal relations (turning the pedals turns the chain that spins the back wheel that drives the bicycle forward); therefore, they do not know how turning the pedals moves a bicycle. ... "

Shin bone connected to da knee bone, knee bone connected to da leg bone, leg bone connected to da...
 
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