Cognitive Daily

Archives for October, 2005

Culture, Medicine, and Magic

Modern biological explanations for disease have not been around for long. Before the nineteenth century, explanations of disease transmittal would never have involved “viruses” or even “germs.” Yet today, even the youngest children know that germs can make you sick—at least, in Western cultures they do. But what about other cultures? The folk tradition in…

The Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee, is a full-scale reconstruction of the rather more famous monument atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. We visited it with our daughter Nora a few years back: As you can see, it’s a dramatic building, dominating the landscape of the otherwise ordinary city park in which it sits. So, when…

It often doesn’t take much to make an eyewitness to a crime change her or his story. While Mafia hardball tactics for intimidating witnesses make the headlines, just seeing or hearing a different version of the “facts” can be enough. One key (as we’ve discussed before) is remembering the context for an event. If we…