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The Curse of Knowledge

joe —  Sat 5-Mar-11

Finger TapLet’s play a little game. I want you to think of a common tune that we would both know, like Happy Birthday or Jingle Bells. Now play out the rhythm of the song by tapping your finger on the table and see if I can guess the song.

Before we start, make a guess – if we were to do this for 100 very well known songs, how many would I get right? If you were like most you would have said 50 or half of them. If I were like most people in a 1990 study by Stanford researcher Elizabeth Newton, I would only get 3.

Why the big discrepancy? Continue Reading…