Chapter 9 - Language, Thought, and Intelligence.docx -...

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Thinking Information in memory is manipulated and transformed through thinking When we think we often use concepts Concepts Artificial Concepts o Formal concepts that can be clearly defined by a set of rules (ex. Fruit) Natural Concepts o Causal or fuzzy concepts that do not have a precise set of properties (ex. Automobiles) How do we know what fits a concept o Positive and negative instances We are given positive or negative feedback for what does and does not fit in a category o Systematic or Formal Approaches Set of rules to decide whether something belongs in that category (ex. Mammal) o Family Resemblance theory You can tell that things are from the same category because they share characteristics o Prototype theory An example that embodies the most common and typical features of the concept o Exemplar theory We compare to all experienced members of that concept that we have encountered Reasoning Inductive reasoning o From specific example to general theory Draw conclusions about larger population from a sample Deductive reasoning o From general theory to specific prediction Problem Solving Trial and error o Try different things and see what works Simplest strategy, inefficient, possibility of making lots of mistakes Algorithms o Step by step procedure that guarantees a solution Sometimes there are lots and lots of steps or an algorithm hasn’t been devised for a problem yet Heuristics o Mental shortcuts or rules of thumb o Analogies Using an old solution for a new problem
Insight o Solution seems to appear out of thin air – solution just comes to you (a-ha moment) o You have been working on the problem in your unconscious Errors in Problem Solving Mental Stumbling Blocks o Functional Fixedness The failure to use familiar objects in novel ways to solve problems o Mental Set We get into a mental rut in our approach to problem solving, continuing to use the same old method even though another approach might be better Luchin’s Water Jug Problem o The goal is to obtain the desired amount of water by using the specified jugs o People try to use the same solution repeatedly even if it doesn’t apply Peter Wasson (1960) o Presented participant with numbers 2-4-6 and asked for the rule which generated the sequence and experimenter told subject whether their sequence fit the rule o Confirmation bias The tendency to look only for evidence that will verify our beliefs Belief Perseverance o When we find out our initial beliefs are wrong, but we tend to try and cling to our discredited beliefs

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