PSYB57H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Utility, Confirmation Bias, Temporal Lobe

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16 Apr 2012
PSYB57 Lecture 12 (03.26.12)
Reasoning, Decision Making and Problem Solving
- Deduction: Claims or assertions, then ask what follows form the premises
Allows prediction, and assessment of belief
1. Does confirming evidence strengthen beliefs?
2. Do we adjust beliefs if predictions are wrong?
3. What evidence do we use to assess our beliefs if we are uncertain about them?
- How do we test hypotheses?
Wason (1966
Consider sequence 2,4,6….
Determine the rules by proposing own triplets and receiving yes/no responses
Confirmation Bias: Confirmatory evidence
Do people better remember disconfirming evidence
Disconfirmatory is more insightful
i.e. confirm bias evaluating evidence
Attention can be drawn to certain things to confirm or refute hypothesis
With disconfirming evidence, things get interesting and kickstart thoughts and processes to discount accounts to
Why is it counted? Why does these results counter what I hypothesized?
- Why confirmation bias? Are people just not logical in their thinking?
Many people have proposed that people are logical in their thinking and that errors come from carelessness,
misreading etc. (Boole and Piaget, etc
A commonly used tool for studying this is categorical syllogism
i.e. All A are B, All B are C, Therefore all A are C
- What kinds of errors do people make and why?
1. Belief Bias
i.e. all doctors go to med school. All med school are hard. Therefore all doctors are hard.
Pre-existing beliefs (in temporal lobe), follow of garden-path mechanism
2. Matching Strategy
i.e All A are B. All D are B/ Therefore, all A are D
Consistency in premises, we are more likely to see them as sound conclusions (even more with “some statements
familiarity in premises
How can we overcome these errors? Venn diagrams
Take premises and draw them
- Does content matter?
i.e. If a card has a vowel on one side, it must have an even number on
the other side
A is the best answer minimum number
6 40%,
7 what do you have to find to disconfirm the 7?
i.e. If a person is drinking beer, then the person needs to be > 19 years old
flip over the card the minimum number of cards that doesn’t follow the rule
- Decision Making: Expected Utility Model (they try to follow steps)
1. Evaluate each course of action under its consideration by multiplying the utility of each of its consequence by its
probability of occurrence (subjectivity utility, what does it mean to you? A lot or little)
2. Add these weighted values to create summary evaluation of each
3. Choose the course of action with high expected utility
- Neural Bases of Expected Utility Calculations
Newsome (1997: Describes technique developed in 198s for the studying
decision making in monkeys
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