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What is thinking.docx

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Western University
Psychology 3190F/G
Tony Vernon

What is thinking? - Going beyond the information given (Bruner, 1957) - Process of searching through a problem space (Newell and Simon, 1972) - What we do when we are in doubt about how to act, what to believe, or what to desire 1) Focused thinking: goal based a. Problem Solving b. Decision Making c. Reasoning 2) Unfocused thinking: no intention a. Creative thinking Problem Solving - Problem: a gap between current state and goal state - Well-defined: answer a multiple choice question - Ill-defined: write a good essay Parts of the Problem 1) Initial state 2) Goal state 3) Givens 4) Obstacles 5) Means (of transforming / solving) Types of Problem - Inducing structure o Pineapple is to fruit as carrot is to ___________ (vegetable) - Transformation o Water Jar Problem - Arrangement o Unscramble this word PLPEA -> APPLE Stages of Problem Solving Hunt and Ellis, 1993 1) Understand the problem 2) Generate the solution 3) Evaluate the solution Generating solutions Algorithm: a well defined step-by-step procedure that leads you to the final goal. This guarantees the solution, but however are not always available Heuristic: mental shortcuts formed by prior experience, easing the cognitive load of the decision - General rules and guidelines - Better searching - Searching for memory Heuristic: Trial and Error - Solutions are generated and tested - Time consuming Heuristics: Hill Climbing - Incremental steps - Repeat until no further improvement is found - Local Maxima Heuristics: Means End - Reduce ill-defined problem into smaller well-define
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