- Formal concept : mental category formed by learning the rules or features that define it. This is rigid, all-or-nothing categorization. (e.g. three-sided geometric forms are triangles) - Prototypes : most typical instance or best example of a particular concept - Exemplars: individual instances, held in memory, of a concept or category Lecture 10 / 180920 PROBLEM SOLVING Problem solving We manipulate mental images and use concepts, including prototypes and exemplars, when we need to solve problems. Accomplishing a goal when the solution or path to the solution is not clear. Despite how different problems may seem, they all share the same key components. Definition o Initial state : condition at the outset of problem o Goal state : what you desire as outcome o Obstacles : what prevents progress toward goal o Operators : techniques used to reach the goal state e.g. PSYC 221 midterm (example of well-defined problems) Initial state: regular attendance, quizzes, reading, extra quizzes, participated to engage learning Goal state: A Obstacles: time, transportation, motivation, etc. Operators: study with friends, reading textbook, etc. o Algorithms : problem-solving strategies based on a series of rules. This tends to be more objective, logical, slower problem-solving techniques. o Heuristics : problem-solving strategies that seem from prior experiences. This tends to be more subjective, intuitive, quicker. o Instinct : a sudden, often noble, realization of a solution (not really a strategy at all). o Cognitive obstacles - Mental set : cognitive obstacle that occurs when we attempt to apply a routine solution to new type of problem. (flexibility) - Functional fixedness : individual identifies a potential operator Decisions and judgements models: o Simplifying a decision by basing it on a single factor o Elimination by aspects: making a decision after evaluating alternatives by one aspect at a time, eliminating alternatives that don’t meet important aspects, until one alternative is left o Additive: making a decision after evaluating individual aspects of the alternatives and adding up the “scores” of the evaluations to see which alternative is best. Using – and misusing – heuristics 9 Three main features to problem solving
o Representative heuristic : judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they much or represent particular prototypes. This leads us to ignore relevant information. o Availability heuristic : basing the likelihood of things based on availability of similar events in memory. This leads us to mistakenly judge how common things may be. o Additional pitfalls: - Confirmation bias : searching for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory information - Overconfidence : overestimating the accuracy of your own knowledge - Belief perseverance : clinging to one’s initial conceptions even after the basis on which were formed has been discredited.
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