Apr 08, 2024
Prof. Steven Sloman, Brown University
Decision Making in a Community of Knowledge

Have you ever tried to explain something you thought you understood and then realized your knowledge of it is not as deep as you thought? Professor Steven Sloman studied this “illusion of explanatory depth” and talked about it on a Choiceology podcast and co-authored a book about it, “The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone." It applies to all kinds of things, like how everyday objects work as well as the pros and cons of a policy proposal. It can help us be a little more humble in considering how firmly we hold our positions on issues.

Steven Sloman received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford. He began teaching at Brown University in 1992. Steven is a cognitive scientist who studies how people think: how we reason, make decisions, and form attitudes and beliefs. The focus of his current research is collective cognition, how we think as a community. His perspective has been shaped by observing how people respond to political events, by philosophy, and by computational models of how people process information.

His work has been discussed in the New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Vice, the Financial Times, the Economist, Scientific American, National Geographic, and more.Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences