Re: Forgetting - Tall Buildings

Merilee Olson

I caught that immediately. Philadelphia ain’t got nothing to do with it. Don’t know about tall buildings in Harrisburg??

On Sun, Oct 3, 2021 at 9:15 PM Herbert Lewis <herbertlewis@...> wrote:
"Which state capital has taller buildings, New York or Pennsylvania? Most people might jump the gun and incorrectly respond “New York.” Even though their slower minds could work to retrieve the memory that New York’s capital is Albany, which has fewer taller buildings than Philadelphia, their prefrontal cortices quickly retrieve the louder and noisier New York City from their memory stores."  (p. 146)

Journalist authored non-fiction often consists of material developed from interviews with experts on the book's topic.  There have been several selections here in this format.  Scott Small, despite his being a renown researcher on "Forgetting," has chosen to structure some of his chapters in this way.  Chapter Six, "Humble Minds," is of this form with the celebrity Daniel Kahneman as his interviewee.  (It's interesting that the co-author of the last selection should fill this role in the current selection).  In this chapter Small examines Kahneman and Tversky's work showing that "heuristics are a substantial part of human cognition in that cognitive illusions are embedded in the memory-dependent processing of our cognitive minds, not in our emotions."

The author uses the above quotation as illustrative of this point.  What this passage doesn't seem to recognize is that in the answer to his question about tall buildings the height of the ones in Philadelphia has nothing more to do with the answer than does the height of those in New York City.  Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania,

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