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This might be another difference between “soft” and “hard” sciences. I believe Feynman mentions somewhere (I’m sorry that I cannot give you the exact reference) that a physicist who wants to understand a complex phenomenon must identify the important factors and neglect the rest.






That sounds like a standard use of the pareto principle, that the most information is in a few variables. Nonetheless, I would be very interested to hear a short summary of Stanovich's argument, I respect him very much.
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Benito
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Physicists usually design their experiments to focus on as few factor as possible. That's highly useful for understanding complex phenomenons. On the other hand that doesn't mean that natural experiments work the same way.
Especially those in the social sciences, like the one we are talking about in this thread.
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ChristianKl
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