We investigated adults’ reasoning about genetic inheritance. We found that adults have a fairly good understanding of how genetic inheritance works, but they reliably have two misunderstandings. The first one is that if the two parents have the same eye color (let's say dark brown) they think that it is more likely for the offspring to have a similar color (dark orange) than a different color (green). The second one is that they think that if the parents have different eye colors, they think that female offspring are more likely to resemble the mother and male offspring are more likely to resemble the father.
We examine how the framing around mental illness influenced how people thought about them. Describing mental illness with an essentialist framing led adult to think drug treatments (but not talk therapy) would be more effective.
We manipulated perceptions of variability by priming students before a lesson and by highlighting variability in the diagrams used during the lesson. Priming led to more endorsement of metamorphosis, but only among those with high prior knowledge.