The Way We Think – Scale Error

What is Scale Error?

A developmental psychology term used to describe is a genuine attempt to perform a task that is certainly impossible due to the significant differences in the size of the objects involved. The term is associated with children.  Examples of scale error include trying to enter a miniature car or house.  See the video for an example.  It is cute, entertaining and surprising. 

Why is this important?

Scale error implications are significant, because it sheds light on how we develop our thinking and learning. We, as individuals, do not always see things as they are.  We are not always rational.  We learn what is inappropriate over time and we learn due to trial and error.  When we first encounter new territory it is our nature to assign properties to things including people unconnected or independent of material properties.

We do not start off as rational and cogent, but disconnected and illogical.  We ascribe ourselves as thoughtful and intellectual, but that is not our origin.  Watching children engage in these types of behaviors is cute.  However, I wonder how this phenomena may play out with adults.  While we do not make these same mistakes as we get older; we do run into new situations and objects.  We have all had colleagues that have made some very illogical choices as if they had not seen what was right in front of their eyes. 

Maybe we must fight our very own nature at times.  Maybe we should challenge what we think we see.  I just wonder.

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