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Lecture: Thinking and Reasoning

by: Brianda Hickey

Lecture: Thinking and Reasoning APSY.UE.0002

Marketplace > NYU School of Medicine > Psychlogy > APSY.UE.0002 > Lecture Thinking and Reasoning
Brianda Hickey

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A detailed set of notes on Thinking and Reasoning
Adina Schick,
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brianda Hickey on Thursday March 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to APSY.UE.0002 at NYU School of Medicine taught by Adina Schick, in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY AND ITS PRINCIPLES in Psychlogy at NYU School of Medicine.


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Date Created: 03/03/16
Lecture: Thinking & Reasoning Cognition Cognition: refers to all of the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating Cognitive Psychologist study these activities and the logical and illogical was we solve problems, form opinions etc. Concepts: mental groupings of similar objects, events, and people ex. the concept of a chair will include a reclining chair, baby high chair and a desk chair Without concepts we would need a different word for every object in the world Would not be able to say when someone is angry, no one would have a base of what anger looks like/is Some concepts are formed by definition ex. we are told that triangles have three sides. We begin to classify all three sided geometric figures as a triangle More often, we form our concepts by developing prototypes The mental image, or best example, including all the features we associate with a given category The more closely something matches our prototype of a concepts, the more readily we recognize it as an example of the concept ex. a robin and a penguin meet definition of a bird, but people are more likely to agree a robin is a bird rather than a penguin because a robin better matches our prototype for a bird Problem Solving Active efforts to discover what needs to be done to achieve a goal that is not readily available Problems of Inducing Structure required to discover the relations among numbers, words, symbols, or ideas ex. Analogy Problems of Arrangement Required to arrange the parts of a problem in a way that satisfies some criterion Usually solved by insight (a sudden discover of the correct solution) ex. Anagrams - SPOYOCHYG = Psychology Problems of Transformation Required to carry out a sequence of transformations in order to reach a specific goal ex. The water jug problem: Suppose you are given three pitchers a 21 cup pitcher 127 cup peter and a 3 cup pitcher Given following task: Need to measure out exactly 100 cups of water Best way to solve problem, use 21 cup pitcher + 3 cup pitcher to fill up the 127 cup pitcher and take out water until you have 100 cups of water Barriers Irrelevant Information Seves as a barrier to our effective problem solving Ex. often assume all numerical information in word problem is important and MUST be used, may not always be right Conformation Bias Major obstacle to problem solving Look for evidence to confirm what we think will be the answer to problem rather than looking for evidence that will dispute us Fixation Inability to see a problem from a new or fresh situation Mental Set Predispose the way we think refers to our tendency to approach a problem with the mindset of what worked for us previously Functional Fixedness We think of what we are used to rather than new ideas Approaches to Problem Solving Trial and error is common approach to problem solving Works best when there are few possible solutions to try Impractical when there are many possibilities More commonly, we use heuristics Forming sub-goals Searing for analogies Changing how you present a problem Taking a brea Cultural Differences Cultural differences shape our problem solving techniques Decision Making Involves evaluating alternatives and making choices Theory of Bounded Rationality People tend to use simple strategies that often result in irrational or poor decisions Decision without Attention Effect When faced with complex choices, people tend to make better decision if they do not devote careful, conscious attention to the matter Heuristics & Decision Making Involves evaluating alternatives and making choices Representativeness Heuristic Judging the likelihood of things in terms of how they seem to represent or match particular prototypes Availability Heuristic Estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory Common Flaws Ignoring Base Rates: We tend to ignore the overall likelihood that a given case will fall in a given category The Conjugation Fallacy: We assume that specific conditions are more probable than a single general one The Gambler’s Fallacy: We believe that the odds of a chance event increases if the event has not occurred recently Overestimating the Improbable: We tend to think that dramatic, vivid acts are more likely to occur than more common place ones Loss Aversion: We assume that losses will have more impact that gains of equal size


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