At times, learning new ideas within science can seem almost effortless; in these cases, new concepts are fit seamlessly into our previous understandings of the world, and can be incorporated into our mental representations of the world without much effort. At other times, learning new ideas within science can be onerous and effortful; in these cases, it may be hard to determine how new concepts relate to previous understandings, and these concepts may never be integrated with our mental representations of the world.
I am broadly interested in how common cognitive patterns or biases can contribute to both of these phenomena, and the implications thereof for understanding, acceptance, and engagement in science and technology. In other words, how might our cognitive biases or mental representations help and/or hinder scientific understandings? Of particular interest are the developmental trajectories of relevant cognitive frameworks and their influence on science engagement.