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Value of cognitive diversity in science


DOI: 10.1007/s11229-016-1147-4

Cite this article as:
Pöyhönen, S. Synthese (2016). doi:10.1007/s11229-016-1147-4


When should a scientific community be cognitively diverse? This article presents a model for studying how the heterogeneity of learning heuristics used by scientist agents affects the epistemic efficiency of a scientific community. By extending the epistemic landscapes modeling approach introduced by Weisberg and Muldoon, the article casts light on the micro-mechanisms mediating cognitive diversity, coordination, and problem-solving efficiency. The results suggest that social learning and cognitive diversity produce epistemic benefits only when the epistemic community is faced with problems of sufficient difficulty.


Social epistemology Diversity Social learning Division of cognitive labor 

Supplementary material

11229_2016_1147_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (167 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (xlsx 167 KB)
11229_2016_1147_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (15 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (pdf 15 KB)
11229_2016_1147_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (91 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (pdf 90 KB)
11229_2016_1147_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 4 (pdf 1322 KB)

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Helsingin Yliopisto
    Suomen Akatemia

      Copyright information

      © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

      Authors and Affiliations

      1. 1.Social and Moral Philosophy/Department of Political and Economic StudiesUniversity of HelsinkiTurkuFinland

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