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Reasoning and Problem Solving.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
Terry Biggs
Semester
Fall

Description
Reasoning and Problem Solving Mental Representations • Mental representations take variety of forms including: – Images – Ideas – Concepts – Principles Cognition • Cognition consists of the re-organization and manipulation of mental representations in a goal directed manner • There are two major forms of reasoning we may employ in this process: • 1 Deductive. 2 Inductive • Deductive Reasoning • Reason from general principles to a conclusion • Useful process in forming hypotheses • Inductive Reasoning • Start with specific facts and try to develop a general principle • Stumbling Blocks in Reasoning • Distraction by irrelevant information • Failure to apply deductive rules • Belief bias • Mental set -Approach most problem from same starting point - Set to solve a problem the same as successful problem solving in your past • Problem-Solving Schemata • Step-by-step scripts for selecting information and solving special problems • The use of problem-solving schemata is an important aspect of expert knowledge • Algorithms • Formulas or procedures for generating correct solutions • Cannot make an error • Computers programed with algorithms so they don’t make mistakes • Ex. Spell check • Heuristics • Mental shortcuts that may or may not provide correct solutions Algorithms • An Algorithm is a specific process account of a action series which always produces a correct answer • We can determine the most likely algorithm for a task without knowing the specific areas where the task is performed. • Take a math example: if children are using a counting algorithm they should require more time to solve problems which involve more counting. • If the amount of counting required does not affect the time taken to solve the problem then they must be using another process, for example, fact retrieval. • Counting: how much is 2 groups of 5? • Steps • 1 count a group of five • IIIII • 2 count a second group of five IIIII • 3 place the two groups together IIIIIIIIII • 4 count the number of elements • IIIIIIIIII = 10 • Fact retrieval: how much is 2 groups of 5? • Steps • 1 access multiplication table for 5 • 2 Select correct entry (the one with elements matching problem) Problem Solving Heuristics • Means-ends analysis – Identify differences between present state and goal state – Make changes to reduce the differences • Subgoal analysis – Take intermediate steps toward an ultimate solution • Representativeness Heuristic – Used to infer how closely something or someone fits our prototype for a particular concept • Availability Heuristic • Leads us to base judgments on the availability of information in memory • Confirmation bias – The tendency to look for evidence that will confirm beliefs Problem Solving • Two types of problems 1. Those which bear a resemblance to past problems. 2. Those which are unique For those Unique problems memory alone is insufficient to provide a solution A solution here requires Creative or Productive thinking • Both Memory use and Productive thinking reflect Realistic thinking in relation to an objective situation • This may be contrasted to Autistic thinking which is determined primarily by subjective needs and wishes • In most instances some mixture of Realistic and Autistic thinking is in operation • These types of problem solving approaches fal
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