Chapter 9B (Refer to notes for part A)
•Propositional thought – EXPRESSES A STATEMENT or proposition (words or sentences you hear in your
• Imaginal thought – images we can see, hear or feel in our mind.
• Motoric thought – mental representations of motor movements
• Concepts – basic units of semantic memory
e.g., categories like “sciences” or “arts”
• Prototypes – most typical or familiar of a class or category.
e.g., which is most typical of a “car”? a sports car, an SUV or a minivan
REASONING & PROBLEM-SOLVING
DEDUCTIVE REASONING - Top down reasoning – from general principles to a conclusion about a specific
- If x, then y.
If all birds lay eggs,
if a penguin is a bird
Then a penguin lays eggs.
Formal mathematics and logic
- bottom up processing
- from specific facts to a general principle
- laws and theories are developed in this manner
* Less certainty about conclusions. EFFECTIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING
Steps in the Process
• Understand or frame the problem
• generate some potential solutions
•Test the solutions
• Evaluate the results
Greeno (1978) – 3 basic classes of problems
1. Problems of Arrangement
•Using the letters in the following phrase list as many different words as you can think of: Psychology
2. Problems of inducing structure
The matchstick problem. Move 2 matches to form 4 equal squares.
3. PROBLEMS OF TRANSFORMATION
•Well defined vs ill defined problems
•Barriers to effective problem solving:
• Irrelevant information
• Functional fixedness
• Unnecessary constraints
• Mental set
Problem-Solving Schema: mental blueprints (step by step procedures) to solve specific types of
problems. APPROACHES TO PROBLEM-SOLVING
• simplest strategy
• systematic trial and error
• guaranteed solution
• General problem-solving strategies that we apply to certain types of problems.
• No guaranteed solution
• Forming sub goals
• Working backward
• Searching for analogies
• Changing the representation of the problem
COGNITIVE STYLE & PROBLEM-SOLVING