Chapter 11 – Thinking
Cognition = Thinking = mental activity associated with processing, understanding, and
Reasoning is problem solving.
Deductive reasoning: what, if any conclusions necessarily follow?
Inductive: what is the probability that those conclusions are true?
Convergent thinking: Lots of data pooled to converge on an answer.
Divergent thinking: Bits of info we have can be combined in a lot of ways to give us a lot of
different answers. Example: How many different uses can you find for a brick? (Other than
Sudden and often novel realization of the solution to the problem.
Contrasts with strategy-based solutions.
Wolfgang Kohler’s experiment on insight by a chimpanzee (1930s): Bananas hanging above the
chimp. Theres crates all around him which are not high enough to reach the bananas. He gets
the idea of piling the crates together and then going up and getting the bananas.
A task that gives the feeling of insight when you solve each problem is the Remote Associates
Logic is a formal system of rules of inference (algorithms) for evaluating the validity of
arguments that draw conclusions from premises.
Conditional: If P, then Q. P is true Then Q is true
Categorical: All A are B. Some B are C Some A are C
Concept: mental grouping of similar objects, events or people
Prototype: the best example of a category
Matching new times to prototype provides a quick and easy method for including items in a
category (as when comparing feathered creatures to a prototypical bird, such as a robin).