HPSLec3CLASS2010 - Human Problem Solving Lecture 3 AGENDA...

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Human Problem Solving Lecture # 3 AGENDA Associationistic Theory of Thinking A. Philosophy and Associationism B. Behaviorism and Associationism C. Edward Thorndike and Animal Problem Solving D. Application to Anagrams
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A. Philosophy and Associationism Associationism is the belief that mental life can be explained in terms of three basic components: (1)ideas; (2) links between ideas of different strengths; (3) and progressions of thoughts based on these strengths . The theory assumes that thought without sensory input is a stream of established associations determined by the strengths. Sensory input can change the direction by importing external ‘ideas’ into the mind but thought continues as a sequence. The theory traces back to Aristotle, and it was developed and elaborated greatly by the British philosophers in the 17 th and 18 th centuries.
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Aristotle’s Views on Memory Aristotle (384-322BC) wrote much about memory in De Memoria et Reminiscentia. Events in the world stream by but our minds store associations between the images of these events. His ‘laws of association’ have been much elaborated, and formalized in the 2500 years since Aristotle. Many psychological theorists have accepted modern versions of Aristotle's laws.
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Aristotle’s Associationism World events are sensed, perceived, and leave images. Images get associated in the mind. Thought is characterized by streams of images, and images tends to evoke associated images Laws of associating images 1. Contiguity in time and space 2. Similarity or contrast 3. Frequency 4. Part/whole Event E In World Senses Mental Image M E M A M B M C
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John Locke’s Associationism The British empiricist, John Locke, had the ‘Tabula Rasa’ idea- the mind at birth is like ‘white paper’, void of all characters, without any ideas.
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