Chapter 8 Thinking and intelligence
(dread risk; affect reasoning and decision making from fear; humans cant always make good
How does the mind represent information?
Intelligence is the ability to better use information.
Cognition: mental activity of thinking or representing information.
Types of representation; form basis of intelligence and though
1. Analogical; things analogous to actual objects. Depictions of real life (Maps)
2. Symbolic; words or ideas that are abstract smd no relationship to physical
qualities of world( violin stands for musical instrument) the word itself bears
no relationship to the object)
Mental images, a type of Analogous representation
in the mind we see images without trying to see them. When im asked what
does my mom look like, I just imagine here face automatically.
Experiement #1; cooper and shepard
- in this experiment experiment is provided subjects of the letter are turned
around in different forms. When the letter R was turned completely upside
down into participants longer to realize that the letter R was indeed the
letter R. One was concluded that in the mental image it takes longer to rotate
when it’s completely upside down then when it’s not upside down.
Experiment #2; Stephen kosslyn. Bio level of visualization
- the primary visual cortex is activated when we see something this is also
turned out to be the case for when we think of something. When one
retrieves information from memory the representation of advantage in the
mind by parallels the representation in the brain when you first saw each.
Mental maps involve a mixture of analogical and symbolic representations.
Limits of analogical representation
- We can only represent the range of things analogically
- If something cannot be perceived only by the perceptual system we cannot
form a complete analytical representation of it.
- Limit is that we may make mistakes. Usually one thinks that san Diego is
closer to the west coast than jasper Alberta, but it isn’t
Concepts are symbolic representations
- we can categorize the object
Schemas organize useful information about environments , reduces amount of info
needed to know and makes everything more efficient
- Concept is a category that includes individual items that are subtypes for
individual items. Common theme relating qualities (like weight)
- defining attribute model a group of features that make something a part of a
group. Batchelor= unmarried male. Fails as it doesn’t include some things. It
also involves make a all or none decision when group things (flying= bords, but penguins are birds that cant fly.) another issue is that things that
describe something like being warm blooded doesn’t come up when we think
of birds, so its not very accurate of an description. Lastly it posits that all the
features that describes something are equal
- prototype model :best example of something. Allows for flexibility in.
drawback is that the prototype may not be the most common example in a
- Examplar model : no single concept has any one best example, but rather all
examples form the best concept. Category of dogs is made up of all dogs ever
seen by myself. If something resembles a dog in my mind, its likely a dog.
Assumes that through experience, people form a fuzzy concept of something.
It accounts for prototypical model, as one of the examples in our exemplar
model will be the best according to the prototype model.
Schemas organize information about environments
- allow us to deal with complex realities, not just what we bump into like a
“dog”. More like what to do in social situations
- Roger S and Robert A: schemas about sequences are Scripts
- We employ schemas because:
a. common situations have consistent attributes(library are quiet)
b. people have specific roles within the situational context(role in the library)
- schemas can result in biases and stereotypes (blind conductor)
- relational schema; what people expect from situations
- Dalton et al children buying things role playing showed that schema for life
are determined at young age. Kids whole parents bought cigarettes too
bought cigarettes when in the shopping mall. Relational…
- They persist because they allow us to recognize and avoid unusual or
dangerous situations. Also allows us to make decision that needs to be made
How people make decisions and solve problems
Reasoning: using information to determine if a conclusion is valid or reasonable
decision making: attempting to select the best alternative among several options
problem solving: finding a way around an obstacle to reach a goal.
Deductive and inductive reasoning
- in real life we swith back and forth between each
- assume a person is nice because there from Vancouver. Generalspecific
- use logic to draw conclusions under certain conditions(premise)
- few useable cases
- syllogisms, logical arguments containing premise can be either
a)conditional; if A is true, B is true. If premise is true, then conclusion is
reached/true (if/then reasoning).
b)categorical; two premises and a conclusion, valid or invalid
- all A are B - all B are C -All A are C
all people are from Vancouver are nice, some nice people like thai food, people from
Vancouver like thai food
- Ambiguity of premise can make it invalidInductive reasoning:
- friend is late to dinner, I conclude he’s tary (can relate to situational vs
- strongly influenced by anecdotal reports when they come from someone
close. “I hear Asians are smart “ said my mom, so I think they’re all smart.
Decision making often involves heuristics
Two model on decision making
Normative model of decision making:
; humans are optimal decision makers and select choice that gives highest gain.
Sometimes though are behavior isn’t rational and doesn’t yield highest gain.
expected utility theory; decision in computation of utility, the overall value making
our decision. We consider possible alternatives in this model, and pick best one. But
is that the case always? NO
Amos tversky/ Daniel kahneman; identified common heuristics (mental
shortcuts or rules of thumb) that apply to people when they make decisions.
descriptive model of decision making
-Availability heuristics: making a decision based on the answer that comes to mind
-Representative heuristic: a rule for categorization based on how similar the person
or object is to our prototype for that category. Helena is smart etc… is she a
psychologist or a postal worker? Features representative of a psychologist. Faulty
reasoning if base rates aren’t taken into consideration (frequency of events
occurring ex. Bad idea flying)
-Difference between heuristics(unconsciously/adaptive value/biases towards more
expensive things as better quality) and algorithms (procedure that if followed will
lead to 100% success)
Framing: how people present information affecting how they perceive it. Can
emphasize different points either pros and cons
- seen in the word used in accident as crash.
Explanation of it: a)prospect theory
-need to account for people wealth in their decisions made
- people avoid losses as they feel worse then gains (Loss aversion)