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Module 27.docx

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PSYC 1000
Dan Meegan

October 17, 2012 Module 27: Thinking - cognition refers to mental activities and processes associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating information - cognition can include reasoning, judgement, and assembling new information into knowledge - cognition also supports these other psychological processes: attention, emotion, consciousness, perception, learning, memory, language, mental health, and social interaction Thinking: Topics - why are the concepts considered the building blocks of thinking? - do other animals have thinking skills like humans do? - what are some problem solving strategies and natural obstacles to effective problem solving? - a concept is a mental grouping of similar objects, events, states, ideas, and/or people, etc. - a concept can be represented and communicated by an image, or by a word such as “chair”, “party”, or “democracy” How do we form/learn concepts? - we think we form concepts by definitions (ex. we define a triangle as an object with three sides) - but is this actually how we form concepts? - often, we form concepts by developing prototypes, that is, mental images of the best example of a concept - we tend to mold our memories and perceptions to fit pre-existing categories/concepts When prototypes fail us: - prototypes fail us when examples stretch our definitions, as in considering whether a stool is a chair - they fail us when the boundary between concepts is fuzzy, as in judging blue-green colours or computer-blended faces - they fail us when examples contradict our prototypes, such as considering whether a whale is a mammal, or a penguin is a bird Problem Solving - refers to the thinking we do in order to answer a complex question or to figure out how to resolve an unfavourable s
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