The Danger of
"It's a pity nature isn't divided into
the same categories as universities."
We need categories to be
able to handle the huge amount of information we use and control.
That's why we have a
hierarchy of folders and files in our computer, and that's why universities
are categorized into faculties and departments. Categorization helps you,
but can also prevent you from using what you know about one field in
There is a well known
problem in education called the transference problem. If you teach something
in one context, students most likely will not be able to use that knowledge
in another6 and build
A rigid budget system is
also organized hierarchically according to categories. Even individuals
unconsciously create a budget system.
In one of their
experiments K&T found that if a person purchases theater tickets at say,
$100 and accidentally loses them, he will NOT buy new tickets. But if that
person lost $100 he would still go and buy the theater tickets on the same
The explanation is that
after purchasing the tickets, the money already "belongs" to the theater
budget. When lost, new tickets are not purchased because the "theater
budget" has been spent.
When losing $100, the
money had not yet been "assigned" to a certain budget category, so the
theater budget is still available.
solving problems we also use a
categorization system to help us deal with the vast amount of data involved.
For example, we make an almost automatic distinction between what's relevant
to the problem and what's not.
The problem is that some
information may not seem relevant to the PROBLEM, but may be highly relevant
to the SOLUTION.