Brian J. Edwards

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This article reports results from two studies of how people answer counterfactual questions about simple machines. Participants learned about devices that have a specific configuration of components, and they answered questions of the form "If component X had not operated [failed], would component Y have operated?" The data from these studies indicate that(More)
We present a general description of the relationship between Fickian diffusivities at the continuum and molecular levels of description. Specifically, we address the issue of using molecular-level simulation techniques to generate Fickian diffusivities that can be rigorously used in the macroscopic evolution equations. Notably, we clarify the traditional(More)
Generating explanations and making comparisons have both been shown to improve learning. While each process has been studied individually, the relationship between explanation and comparison is not well understood. Three experiments evaluated the effectiveness of explanation and comparison prompts in learning novel categories. In Experiment 1, participants(More)
We investigated how people design interventions to affect the outcomes of causal systems. We propose that the abstract structural properties of a causal system, in addition to people's content and mechanism knowledge, influence decisions about how to intervene. In Experiment 1, participants preferred to intervene at specific locations (immediate causes,(More)
Although comparison and explanation have typically been studied independently, recent work suggests connections between these processes. Three experiments investigated effects of comparison and explanation on analogical problem solving. In Experiment 1, explaining the solutions to two analogous stories increased spontaneous transfer to an analogical(More)
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