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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER PREVIEW Concepts, the building blocks of thinking, simplify the world by organizing it into a hierarchy of categories. Concepts are often formed around prototypes, or the best examples of a category. When faced with a novel situation for which no well-learned response will do, we may use problem-solving strategies such as trial and error, algorithms, heuristics, and insight. Obstacles to successful problem solving include the confirmation bias, mental set, and functional fixedness. Heuristics provide efficient, but occasionally misleading, guides for making quick decisions. Overconfidence, framing, belief bias, and belief perseverance further reveal our capacity for error. Still, human cognition is remarkably efficient and adaptive. With experience, we grow adept at making quick, shrewd judgments. Language facilitates and expresses our thoughts. Spoken language is built of phonemes, morphemes, words, and the semantics and syntax that make up grammar. The ease with which children master language has sparked a lively debate over whether children acquire language through association and imitation or are biologically prepared to learn words and use grammar. Thinking and language are difficult to separate. Although the linguistic determinism hypothesis states that language determines thought, we know that thinking can occur without language, and so we might better say that thinking affects our language, which then affects our thoughts. Another debate concerns whether language is uniquely human; it has been fueled by studies of animals, particularly chimpanzees, who have developed considerable vocabularies and who can string words together to express meaning. Although apes have considerable cognitive ability, skep- tics point out important differences between apes and humans abilities to order words using prop- er syntax. CHAPTER GUIDE Introductory Exercise: Fact or Falsehood? Exercises: The Limits of Human Intuition; Differences in Thinking Styles Project: The Need for Cognition Scale Video: Discovering Psychology, Updated Edition: Cognitive Processes Thinking Exercises: Cognitive Complexity; Introducing Prototypes; Dice Games to Demonstrate Problem Solving; The Aha! Experience; Confirmation Bias; Mental Set and Insight; Demonstrating Mental Set; Functional Fixedness; The 67 Thinking and Language 10 : Representativeness Heuristic; The Base-Rate Fallacy; The Availability Heuristic; The Overconfidence Phenomenon; Framing Decisions Lectures: Jokes, Riddles, and Insight; The Confirmation Bias and Social Judgments; The Projective Way of Knowing; The Sunk Cost Fallacy; Risks in Everyday Life; The Disjunction Fallacy or Irrational Prudence; Belief Bias Projects: The Tower of Hanoi Problem; Problem-Solving Strategies Videos: Discovering Psychology, Updated Edition: Judgment and Decision Making; Program 14 of Moving Images: Exploring Psychology Through Film: Estimating Risk: The Availability Heuristic; Segment 28 of the Scientific...
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 413 taught by Professor Moorhouse during the Winter '10 term at Grand Valley State University.
- Winter '10