Open lecture with Professor Patricia A. Ganea: The development of the counterfactual imagination
The research group Compros at the Department of Special Needs Education is hosting an open lecture with Professor Patricia A. Ganea, University of Toronto, Canada. The topic of the lecture is: The development of the counterfactual imagination.
The ability to contemplate changes to reality is a fundamental aspect of human cognition involved in learning and decision-making (Illustrasjonsfoto: Colourbox).
About the lecture
Counterfactual reasoning is the ability to think of alternative
representations to what we know to be true about the world, by imagining what would have happened had a situation been different. The ability to contemplate changes to reality is a fundamental aspect of human cognition involved in learning and decision-making. We often generate counterfactual thoughts when faced with unexpected or negative events, when thinking of alternatives to historical events, or when pondering about scientific hypotheses.
Conclusions about when children begin to reason counterfactually are mixed and are underlined by different theoretical assumptions. During the lecture Professor Ganea will present a process-based account of counterfactual thinking, by highlighting the processes it shares with other hypothetical abilities and by characterizing how counterfactual reasoning is influenced by one’s model of reality and domain-general abilities. Professor Ganea will also discuss how counterfactual reasoning is related to causal reasoning in development and present work illustrating the relevance of counterfactuals to scientific reasoning.
Professor Patricia Ganea
Patricia A. Ganea's primary research area is early cognitive development. Her research is focused on the social, linguistic and representational factors that influence children's learning. She is especially interested in children's ability to use language to communicate about things that are not perceptually present and their ability to engage in hypothetical thinking. She is also interested in how children develop an understanding of the pragmatics of language and of social cognition.
The lecture is open to all. Please sign up at this webform.