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PS102 Ch. 9 Notes.docx

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Carolyn Ensley

Claudia Vanderholst Chapter 9: Thinking & Intelligence How do we think?  Concepts are important for cognition  Mental category that group objects, activities or abstractions with common properties  Elephant, dog, cat are all mammals  Baseball, basketball, hockey are all sports  Apples, hamburgers, ice cream are all foods  Having concepts helps us make decisions easier; a new mammal, sport, or food will be easier to understand because of our existing concept Basic Concepts  Moderates number of instances (or members_  Easier to acquire basic concepts than concepts with few or many instances  ‘Apple” is a basic concept  More instances than “Macintosh’  Children learn these first, adults use them most because they convey the most information Characteristics of Basic Concepts  Different instances of a concept will have different features (not all apples are red, and not all cats have fur)  We usually decide whether something is part or a concept based on a prototype  Representative example of the concept  Fruitiest fruit, doggiest dog  Culturally specific and learned Multitasking: A Misconception  Multitasking is less efficient  Even (eating and reading) is slower than eating then reading  Multitasking on electronic devices is particularly problematic  Time to do each task increases, more errors, and memory for what you have done suffers  Attention is capacity limited and needed for complex tasks and for encoding Nonconscious Thinking  Subconscious thinking can enter consciousness, can think about ‘how we drive’ etc.  Nonconscious thinking is never something that enters consciousness  Even when we want to know where an idea came from, we don’t always know Claudia Vanderholst  Often call this thinking ‘intuition’  Probably involves several stages of nonconscious thought  Often used in problem solving  Implicit learning is learning when we cant explain how we learned something or what it is that we know  Examples: Native language, walking up the stairs Mindlessness  Sometimes we are thinking consciously, we just aren’t trying very hard so we say or do ‘mindless’ things  We do a lot of think mindlessly, and make a lot of mistakes because of it  But mindlessness allows our attention to be immediately available if we need it  Some theorists argue that we spend most of our lives in ‘mindless’ mode only using effortful processing when absolutely necessary  You must admit it ‘feels’ different to study or when writing an exam than to go through every day life Reasoning rationally  Formal reasoning  See it on standardized test  There is one correct answer and it can be answered using the information given using an algorithm or rule  Recipes are also algorithms Reasoning  People have trouble with formal logic  Tend to assume if A then B = if B then A  Think of a concrete example  If you want to drink alcohol you must be 19  Not equivalent to if you are 19 you must drink alcohol  When problems are concrete we deal with them better Informal Reasoning  We use this the most  Many of like’s problems don’t
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