GenPsych - Ch08 CognitionAndLanguagePart1

GenPsych - Ch08 CognitionAndLanguagePart1 - Lecture Outline...

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Lecture Outline What is Thought? Categorization and schemas. Attention. Expertise. Problem solving. Heuristics and biases. What Is Thought? Generating new information from mental representations to achieve some purpose. Thought overlaps with and is an extension of perception and memory: Perception constructs mental representations and memory reconstructs representations. Categorical perception. False memories. New information may result from perception and memory. More commonly, thinking is considered to be the manipulation of the mental representations constructed by perception and memory. Main Approaches to the Study of Thinking Examine the types of mental representations and how they are manipulated. Images, concepts, propositions, schemas, mental models. Study how people perform reasoning and problems solving. Inferring Cognition from Performance Subjects are shown a stimulus (e.g. “R”) that is rotated between 0 and 360 o , each must decide whether the letter is normal or a mirror image. Such tasks activate the visual cortex, suggesting an actual rotation of the stimulus.
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Categorization The formation of categories or concepts is one of the primary ways that we organize information about our world. Mental representations of groups of entities. In general we categorize people, objects or events together when they have important qualities in common. If you know the category of an object, you can apply knowledge (to infer characteristics) in dealing with the object. Can it be eaten? Should I smile now? That is, categorization is functional. Processes of Categorization We categorize objects by: Comparison with defining features. Some concepts are clearly defined (e.g., salt). Other concepts are “fuzzy” (e.g., bachelor). Similarity/dissimilarity to prototypes. Prototypes are a model based on abstraction of the characteristics of the category. Categorization is functional: use of prototype vs. definition depends on the task. Schemas Patterns of information (i.e., complex mental representations, knowledge) stored in memory as a coherent unit. Types of schemas: Concepts, mental models, scripts.
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course PSYCH 101 taught by Professor Brill during the Spring '07 term at Rutgers.

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GenPsych - Ch08 CognitionAndLanguagePart1 - Lecture Outline...

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