December 16, 2016

Kid Logic

Kids using perfectly logical arguments, and arriving at perfectly wrong conclusions.

Philippe Lissac/Getty Images

An updated version of an episode from 2001.


Ira talks with Rebecca who, using perfectly valid evidence, arrived at the perfectly incorrect conclusion that her neighbor, Ronnie Loeberfeld, was the tooth fairy. Ira also talks with Dr. Alison Gopnik, co-author of the book, "The Scientist in the Crib," about what exactly kid logic is. (6 minutes)

Act One

Baby Scientists with Faulty Data

More stories like the one in the prologue, where kids look at something going on around them, observe it carefully, think about it logically, and come to conclusions that are completely incorrect. (11 minutes)

Act Three

The Game Ain't Over til the Fatso Man Sings

Howie Chackowicz tried a risky combination when he was little, kid logic with puppy love. He used to think that girls would fall in love with him if they could just see him sleeping, or if they could hear him read aloud. He revisits his biggest childhood crush and finds out that not only did his methods not work, but that no one even noticed them. Howie is the creator of "Howie Action Comics." (10 minutes)

Act Four

When Small Thoughts Meet Big Brains

Alex Blumberg investigates a little-studied phenomenon: Children who get a mistaken idea in their heads about how something works or what something means, and then don't figure out until well into adulthood that they were wrong. Including the tale of a girl who received a tissue box for Christmas, allegedly painted by trained monkeys. (13 minutes)

Alex is one of the founders of Gimlet Media and host of the podcast “How to Save a Planet.”