October 28, 2020: "The Plausible Impossible: Graded Notions of Impossibility Across Cultures."

Updated: Nov 3

In our lab meeting this week, we discussed Gong & Shtulman's (2020) paper, "The Plausible Impossible: Graded Notions of Impossibility Across Cultures." Previous studies have found that American adults think it is easier to lift a paper clip with magic than a house. This is because they still use their causal knowledge when thinking about magic. This study investigated whether Chinese adults also use causal knowledge to make possibility judgments in the context of magic. They found that, despite the fact that Chinese adults typically use holistic (over analytic) reasoning, they performed similarly to Americans on this task.


Gong, T. & Shtulman, A. The Plausible Impossible: Graded Notions of Impossibility Across Cultures.


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