Cognition and Language

Cognition and Language - Cognition and Language Problem...

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Cognition and Language Problem Solving Strategies • Algorithms are systematic procedures that will produce a solution to a problem (always). • Heuristics are cognitive shortcuts that usually (but not always) produce a solution. – Used when algorithms are unknown, impossible, or too costly in terms of time or the demand on working memory. – Many demonstrations have been done of errors resulting from the use of common heuristics. Two Well-Studied Heuristics • Availability heuristic: we decide that the events that we can easily recall are common and typical. – “Driving to Grandma’s house is safer than flying to Iraq” – Based on the notion that more frequent events are more likely to be remembered. – Fails to consider that other factors besides frequency affect memory. • Representativeness heuristic: we match an object to its category, but don’t consider the frequencies of items of that category in the situation. – Based on the notion that if something is similar to the prototype of a category, it is a member of the category. – Fails to consider how common or uncommon the category is. • “Base-rate information” describes prior probabilities. Thinking: Some Tentative Conclusions • Motivation is fundamental (thinking is functional). – We use heuristics to avoid investing too much time and effort. – We use algorithms when getting the right answer is important enough to override concerns about investing too much of our resources. • Even when our motivations lead us to seek an accurate decision or a correct solution to a problem: – Memory may fail to serve us well. – Resources (time, working memory capacity, mental energy, etc.) may limit our success.
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Cognition and Language - Cognition and Language Problem...

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