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Psych 207 CHAPTER 10

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Jennifer Stolz

CHAPTER 10: THINKING, PROBLEM SOLVING, AND REASONING 1. WHAT IS THINKING? -Going beyond the information given (Bruner, 1957). -Complex and high-level skill that fills up gaps in the evidence (Bartlett, 1958). -Process of searching through a problem space (Newell & Simon, 1972). -What we do when we are in doubt about how to act, what to believe, or what to desire (Baron, 1994) (1) Focused thinking (e.g. goal based, problem solving) (2) Unfocused thinking ( e.g. daydreaming, unintentional, creative thinking?) 2. THINKING A. Thinking Problems  Well defined have beginning and end rule or guidelines  Ill defined ? (they’re ill defined) 3. PROBLEM SOLVING TEHNIQUES A. Generate and Test  As the name suggests: -Generate a number of solutions, then -Test the solutions  Useful if there is a limited number of possibilities  Problematic if: -Too many possibilities -No guidance over generation -Can’t keep track of possibilities tested B. Means Ends analysis  Problem space (Newell & Simon, 1972) -Initial state: conditions at beginning of problem -Goals state: condition at the end of problem -Intermediate states: the various conditions that exist along pathways between the initial and the goal state -Operators: permissible moves  Reduce the difference between initial state and goal state.  Involves generating a goal and then sub-goals  Any sequence of moves beginning at the initial state and ending at the final goal state
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