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Week 4

by: Briana Hughes

Week 4 PSY 3100 002

Briana Hughes
GPA 3.8

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About this Document

This document outlines the 2 readings that were assigned for Week 4. The outline is organized by chapter titles and subtitles. Important information is bold and/or italicized.
Topics: Brain, Behavior and Cognition: Psychology of Creativity
Dr. Weisberg
Class Notes
Psychology, Creativity, Topics
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Briana Hughes on Wednesday February 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 3100 002 at Temple University taught by Dr. Weisberg in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Topics: Brain, Behavior and Cognition: Psychology of Creativity in Psychlogy at Temple University.


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Date Created: 02/17/16
Chapter 3: The Cognitive Perspective on Creativity, Par 1: Ordinary Thinking, Creative Thinking, and Problem Solving  Creative thinking = ordinary thinking; therefore should study ordinary thinking  Ordinary thinking is more than problem solving (cognitive process made up of many simple processes); sometimes creative without solving a problem Basic Cognitive Components of Ordinary Thinking  Thinking: complex activity o Can mean: remembering, imagining, planning, anticipating, judging, deciding, determining, perceiving, comprehending, recognizing, interpreting Basic Cognitive Components of Creative Thinking  If creative thinking = ordinary thinking, then memory, planning, judging, reasoning, etc. all important in creative process o Seen in Guernica and DNA structure (planning = sketches; judging = changing position of bull, removal of upraised arms; reasoning = Crick A  B Deductive reasoning) General Characteristics of Ordinary Thinking  Structure: thoughts follow one another/are related to one another  Continuity: ordinary thinking depends on the past/continuity with the past  Top-down processing: knowledge and concepts direct ordinary thinking  Sensitive to environmental events Structure in Ordinary Thinking and in Creative Thinking  Contiguity links events in our past that occurred close together I time o Why we can trace stream of thought o Hobbes proposed thoughts lead to one another because events that correspond to those thoughts were experienced together  Similarity o Aristole proposed common content will make one thought call forth another even if corresponding events didn’t occur in contiguity o Events can be similar only in structure = analogous (i.e. class debate vs. boxing match) debate in class today reminded you of boxing match from 4 years ago o Deductive reasoning: If it rains tomorrow, I’m not going; it rains, friend figures you aren’t coming Continuity with the Past in Ordinary Thinking and Creative Thinking  If this is a mechanic’s first time replacing a fuel pump, it is creative = results in novel product for him  Antecedents for creative work, what came before (i.e. Minotauromachy or Pauling’s ideas)  Incremental movement, not great leaps  Learning curve in creative disciplines: over time, get better at what they do o OR increasing productivity: work comes more easily = produce more o Produce work of increasing originality (Hayes’ 10 year rule) Top-Down Processes: The Use of Knowledge in Problem Solving and Creative Thinking  Or concept-driven processing  Concepts/expectations allow storage and recall of information from memory to direct actions  Knowledge and experience crucial importance in how we solve problem or in production of new things o If familiar with environmental stimuli, will be able to process it easier o The reason Watson and Crick fared better than other scientists is because of their background knowledge in specific areas  Planning is important component; individual directs steps taken Creative Thinking and Environmental Events  Need to get somewhere but car breaks down, must figure out another way  Witnessing someone’s behavior might change your view of them  Watson saw Franklins photo and changed his image of structure of DNA  Bombing of town set Picasso on new path; switched from studio Creative Thinking and Ordinary Thinking: Conclusions  Not all people believe creative thinking = ordinary thinking  Some people believe study of creative thinking is only part of creative process (personality, environment) The Cognitive Analysis of Problem Solving  Newell and Simon saw humans as information-processing systems (computers) An Example of Problem Solving  Traveler had to create a new method to travel because never done it before Solving a Problem: Questions of Definition  Problem state: unsatisfactory situation  Goal state: the situation that you want to be in  Operators/moves: activities you carry out in your attempts to solve the problem  Initial state + operator state that doesn’t solve problem  intermediate state (usually a few) o Sending an email  Initial state = computer of  Operator (press button) = initial state  intermediate state (computer on)  Task environment: context in which problem is presented including instructions and objects Problem Solving and Creative Thinking  Critical characteristics: novel situation; change problem into the goal  Degrees of innovation of solutions don’t mean diferences in the underlying cognitive processes o Multiplying 2 numbers (new to you) is novel but not as novel as inventing mathematical equation  Lovett (2002) Problem solving: analysis and transformation of information toward a specific goal o Deciding what to do next; no matter how easy or difficult the decision may be  Artists/scientists can have problems (i.e. Picasso had to figure out how to express his feelings in the painting, etc.) A Brief History of the Cognitive Perspective on Problem Solving  Artificial intelligence (AI): Programs designed from a practical perspective, to carry out target task in an error-free efficient manner  Computer Simulation: program designed to provide simulation (model) of the way a human carries out a task o Designed as theories of human performance; show positive and negative aspects of human functioning o Successful if it can make you believe real people are involved (output)  i.e. automated chess player carrying on conversation with you Computers and Humans as Information-Processing Systems  Newell and Simon propose humans, like computers = functioning system (thinking and behaving system) o Input and out units that allow interaction with world i.e. mouse/senses, screens or printers/efectors (i.e. arms, legs, mouths),  Processing unit: uses working memory (RAM) limited-capacity storage system that holds info needed to carry out a task and also takes in new info o Amount = potential constraint on ability to carry out operations  Long term memory storage system = hard drive o Limited in computers but not in humans o Sometimes is still in system but can’t be retrieved o However, humans can forget things due to:  Interference from new info or Old information can interfere with new  Decay: info fades away and is lost from the system Artificial Intelligence versus Computer Simulation  You must have extensive knowledge about the situation/task  You must have extensive knowledge about the human o What moves and mistakes they would make and why  Proposed philosophy that one could carry out analyses of the cognitive processes underlying any behavior  Began to study complex tasks that couldn’t be studied in animals  Used Verbal protocol: thinking out loud to provide info concerning internal steps human might go through  Monitoring eye movements could suggest things about attention during tasks  Verbal Protocols and the Thought Process o Question: Is the thought process that one uncovers in the protocols diferent form the actual process? o Ericsson and Simon (1993) theory to guide collection and interpretation of protocols; concluded verbal protocols useful source of data about cog processes if use their method  Verbalizing thoughts that are already occurring doesn’t afect thinking “turn of the mute” Type 1 Verbalization  Type 2 Verbalization: individual uses nonverbal format to solve a problem i.e. figuring out fastest route by imagining themselves following the route; must be translated to verbal form  Slows down problem solving but shouldn’t afect direction of thought processes  Type 3 verbalization: includes reporting specific pieces of info and explaining why the action carried out i.e. asking why certain pieces of info used when doing task  Can afect the outcome of the thinking process; can change info that people deal with and the sequence of thoughts that occur Problem Solving: Processes of Understanding and Search  The task environment is transformed through the understanding process into an internal representation of the problem o Includes initial analysis of problem situation, and representation of the goal Understanding and the Problem Representation  When people get verbal info then asked to remember it and identify it visually; they identify based on the mental representations that they have given the verbal info based on prior knowledge  Can cause diferent problem representations between researcher and participant o i.e. rules don’t say you can’t tell the person where the rope is but players assume they can’t The Problem Space and Search  problem space: set of possible moves that one might attempt in trying to solve the problem o developed based on interpretation of instructions and context in which problem presented  Must determine possible links between what person might explore and what they actually do explore  Well-Versus ill-Defined Problems and the Problem Space o Well-defined problem: a problem situation with all the components specified  Tic-tac-toe  BUT solution described in abstract terms (horizontal, vertical, diagonal 3 in a row) o Ill-defined problems: at least one of the problem components is not specified in the statement of the problem  Person is not happy (know initial state); but you don’t know the solution o Terms not evaluative; neither is better than the other o Terms are descriptive  Ill-defined require problem solver to specify some missing elements before solution can occur Problem Finding?  Watson and Crick and Picasso faces ill-defined problems; knew what they wanted to do but not how  Problem finding: situation in which there seems to be nothing specified in the way of a goal o Artist wants to paint but has no idea  Getzels and Csikszentmihalyi (1976) introduced problem finding while observing art students painting still life o Better students are more proficient in this skill  Weisberg proposes the artist’s situation is simply an ill-defined problem o Not very diferent from them & simpler to think about them in the same way o The students in G & C’s study were faced with TWO problems: deciding what to paint and figuring out how o Writers and painters have a lifetime problem: producing = close relationship between problem solving and creative thinking Strategies for Searching Problem Spaces  In well-defined problem, task = find sequence of moves that will lead problem state  goal state o Diagram the problem space (all possible sequences of moves)  If problem space small enough, can explore every possible sequence and will eventually find it  Most of the time, problem space too large o i.e. tic-tac-toe  number of possible paths so large that difficult to analyze without paper and pen Heuristic Methods for Searching Problem Spaces  Traveler’s L.A.  Williamstown problem also has large problem space o She cut down space by only looking for flights in one direction o Used heuristics (rules of thumb) that allow you to cut down problem space  i.e. in tic tac toe, making a move to the middle isn’t a guaranteed win but it increases the likelihood of a solution  Many heuristic methods: o Hill Climbing: Change current state to look more like goal state  Even if you can’t see hill’s peak; keep taking directions that go upward; NOT downward because that will take you further from goal instead of closer to it  PROBLEM: only takes you to a local maximum  A state that is closer to the goal than where you started from, and that is the highest place in the area you have climbed through, but that is not the ultimate goal  Climbed adjacent hill, not mountain, ow you have to go down before you can go back up o Working backward: starting at the goal and working back to initial state  Limits number of possible moves o Means-end analysis: comparing the goal state and present state and examining the diferences between them; find operator to reduce the most important diferences  I need to get to the store – Car  My car needs a new battery – auto repair shop  They don’t know I need a battery - Telephone o Planning: using one’s imagination to carry out a solution mentally, so that one can determine in advance the outcome of given move or sequence of moves and how it should be carried out  Working memory limited therefore so is the complexity of planning without an external aid i.e. pencil and paper o Algorithms: aid in solving problems in which they can be applied  i.e. the rules of arithmetic/ formulas Weak Heuristic Methods in Problem Solving: Broader Implications  Weak methods of problem solving: are very general in applicability, only use info given; do not provide much specific information useful for solving any particular problem  Knowledge-lean problems: laboratory problems in which weak heuristic methods are typically studied o The person can bring little or no knowledge to bear on those problems because the way they are designed  Watson and Crick may have worked backwards from goal when they adopted idea of DNA being helix but had an ill-defined problem  Guernica, Picasso worked backwards because he already had structure Heuristic-Based Simulation of Scientific Discovery  Johannes Kepler discoveries in motions of the planets “Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion” o Took data on planets collected by Tycho Brahe & summarized them in an elegant form o Paved the way for Newton’s analysis of the orbits of the planiets  Langley and colleagues (1987) developed computer programs to apply heuristic methods to data in order to simulate well-known scientific discoveries o BACON: given Brahe’s data, produced summary equivalent to Kepler’s law o Criticism: program had all the hard work done for it/ not similar to initial state of researchers o Csiksezentmihalyi (1988) compares simulations of scientific discoveries too fine copies of artistic masterpieces  Althought the masterpiece and copy look similar; something basic is missing from the copy  Although computer’s output looks like original, not same processes involved in production o Benefits:  Kepler already knew what critical questions he was studying  Brahe did research, Kepler didn’t have to  Not all that diferent from simulation  Shows that heuristic methods might be more useful in important creative discoveries than one may think; also in undergrad studies where only weak methods can be used because undergrads don’t have appropriate prior knowledge Weak Heuristic Methods of Problem Solving and Creative Thinking: Conclusions  Solving problems using weak heuristic methods doesn’t require top- down/concept-driven processes  Weak methods composed of components of ordinary thinking i.e. planning, reasoning, memory  Possession of problem-specific knowledge allows use of strong methods of problem solving


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