Chapter 10 – Thinking and Language Outline
• Cognition refers to al the mental activities associated with processing, understanding, remembering and communicating • Cognitive psychologists study the mental activities
• Concepts refers to the mental grouping of similar objects, events and people. • The organization of concepts into categories is known as hierarchies. • Prototypes are the mental image or best example that incorporates all the features we associate with a category • Once we place an item into a category, our memory later recognizes it as its category prototype.
• Algorithms are step-by-step procedures that will guarantee a solution. Usually long. • Heuristics are a speedier, more error prone version of algorithms. By reducing the number of options and then applying trial and error, the result may be found. • Insights are flashes of inspiration.
• The right temporal lobe is responsible for such insights. ( Edward Bowden, mark Jung- Beeman and John Kounios) Researched the associated neural activity and it’s electrical signature.
Obstacles to problem solving
• Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for information that confirms one’s perceptions • Peter Wason revealed this principle when he gave university students wrong formulas to work with and found that the students tended to research examples to defend these theories. • He revealed that we tend to find examples that credit their statements rather than finding examples that may refute it. • Fixation is the inability to see a problem from a new perspective, it impedes our process to problem solve. Influenced by mental sets and functional fixedness. • A mental set predisposes how we think. It refers to our tendency to approach a problem from a particular way that we have been successful in the past. • Functional fixedness is the tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions. Stereotypes also limit our thinking.
Using and Misusing Heuristics
• Amos Tversky and Daniel Kaneman revealed two heuristics of representativeness and availability. • Representativeness heuristic demands you to use rapid judgment, while leaving out certain relevant information. By judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or math prototypes. Overrides the usage of logic and statistics. • The availability heuristic states that anything that increases the ease of our retrieving information can increase its perceived availability. If it comes more easily to our mind, we tend to think that it is more common. • It does not take into other factors such as how recently you head about it, the distinctiveness and its concreteness.
• Overconfidence is the tendency to overestimate the accuracy of our knowledge and judgments. • When people feel 100% confident about their answer, they tend to be wrong 15% of the time. • Does not have any adaptive value.
• People do however, tend to live more happily, find it easier to make tough decisions and seem more credible. • Not innate but learned through experience.
• Framing is the way we present an issue.
• Just like how something is “framed” as in framing of a picture. If the picture is of fruits and the frame looks like an interwoven wooden thread, then the picture looks very natural. If the picture is placed around a frame that is grey and metallic-like, the effect is very different. Just like if I “frame” the statement: there is a 70% chance of winning as opposed to 30% chance of losing.
• It is the tendency for our beliefs to distort our logic.
The Belief Perseverance Phenomenon
• Belief perseverance is our tendency to hold onto beliefs even when we are presented with contradicting evidence. • Considering evidence supporting the...
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