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Lecture 13

PS102 Lecture 13, 14 Chp 9

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Carolyn Ensley

Lecture 13, 14 Chp 9 2/28/2013 11:46:00 AM Chapter 9: Thinking and Intelligence Thinking and Intelligence:  Humans are amazing, we have built civilizations and cured diseased.  But we have also created ward and products that slowly kill us  So are we intelligent?  Sure we are, its just our intelligence is complex ad intermixes with out patterns of judgment and decision making which aren’t perfect. How do we think?  Concepts are important for cognition o Mental category that groups objects, activities or abstractions with common properties  Elephant, dog, and car are all mammals  Baseball, basketball and hockey are all sports  Apples, hamburgers and ice cream are all food o Having concepts help us make decision 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 o more instances that “McIntosh” o children learn these first, adults use them most because they convey the most information. Characteristics of concepts:  different instances of a concept will have different features o not all apples are red o not all cats have fur  we usually decide whether something is part of a concept based on a prototype o representative example of the concept o fruitiest fruit, doggiest dog.  Culturally specific and learned. Do labels shape thought?:  Evidence that our concepts for space, time, location and also our memory can be shaped by how we label things; called “Whorf hypothesis”  Papua New Guinea they have one word for clue and green, but have specific words for two specific shades of green. The Whorf Hypothesis:  Papa New Guinea people are better at remembering distinctions between shade of green than differences between green and blue  English speakers were the opposite. More on language affecting thinking  Spanish: key is feminine  German: key is masculine  Spanish speakers more likely to describe key as “golden, intricate, lovely, shiny”  German speakers more likely to describe key as “heavy, jagged, serrated, useful”  Gender playing a role? How would concepts affect thinking?  Propositions!  That’s the term for ideas, or the connections between concepts  “Dylan likes psychology” “cats are selfish” are both propositions  propositions are all linked together in a complex web affected by our experience, our expectations ad our personality. **concept, basic concept, proposition, prototype important for exam. Consciousness:  Is all of our thinking conscious?  The stuff we can talk about it (that’s the definition of conscious)  But much is “subconscious”  Highly learned tasks can be done without attention o Knitting, some driving, reading a word o Can enter our thoughts with effort. Multitasking is a misconception:  Multitasking is less efficient  Even (eating and reading) is slower than eating then reading.  Multitasking on electronic devices is particularly problematic. o 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 a bout “how we drive” et.  Nonconscious think is never something that enters consciousness.  When we want to know where an idea cam from, we don’t always know.  Often call this thinking “intuition”. Intuition and implicit learning:  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. o Native language, walking up the stairs are examples. 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 things mindlessly… and make a lot of mistakes because of it!  But mindlessness allows our attention to be immediately available if we need it.  Most people allow B or C even though “I need money” is really a meaningless statement; it sounds legitimate so people MINDLESSLY step aside.  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 write an exam than to go through every day life. Reasoning Rationality:  Formal reasoning o See it on standardized tests o There Is one correct answer and it can be answered using the information given using an algorithm or rule o Recipes are also allegories.  E.g. if A, then B  How well do we use this logic? Reasoning:  people have trouble with formal logic  tend to assume if A then B = if B then A  think of a concrete example o if you want to drink alcohol you must be 19 o 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 life’s problems don’t have one correct answer and we don’t always have all the available information  Use “heuristics” which are easy to remember tricks to solving problems o “dialectical reasoning” in these cases. Heuristics and Dialectical Reasoning:  Heuristics used in chess games and card games (for example)  Dialectical reasoning involved comparing two sets of arguments and deciding which carries more weight (e.g. pro vs. con) o Juries are supposed to do this as are voters. Barriers to reasoning rationally:  We say how people have trouble with formal logic in the “card problem:  People have the capacity for formal reasoning, dialectical reasoning and making rational judgments so why don’t we do it more? Exaggerating the improbable:  We play lotteries with little chance of winning  We buy flood insurance with little chance of flooding  We are equipped to exaggerate the improbable when it could affect survival. o Irrational fears, gambling for resources. Affect Heuristic:  We use our emotions, not logic, when making decisions.  Hearing about 2 cases of “mad cow disease” triggered emotions and led to reduces beef consumption  Hearing about BSE (the technical name for mad cow disease) did not affect consumption  :mad cow” is alarming, “BSE” is not. Availability Heuristic:  Tendency t make judgments based on what we can retrieve from memory  Tend to retrieve very improbable events, like shark attacks and plane crashes.  Don’t retrieve things that may actually be a threat, like asthma or car accidents which are actually more dangerous. Avoiding Loss  This is related to the “framing effect”  How a problem is presented will effect behaviour  Will buy a ticket with “2% chance of winning”  Wont buy a ticker with a “98% chance of losing”  Most people choose the question framed in such a way that loss seems minimized, even when probability of loss is the same in both cases.  100% chance of 200 people being saves = 200  66% chance of 600 being lost = 200  we prefer the first  people only take a risk to avoid loss. Fairness bias:  Game where the other player can give you any amount of money from $0 to $20  Should take any amount because any amount is more than 0 but people don’t  It varies but culture but most reject offers less than 20% (or 5$)  Always an amount that people consider unfair and refuse even though all offers are gains  Studies by all sorts of social scientists.  We will always reject based on the assumption that the world should be fair. Biology and economic choice:  Not just humans who weight fairness against gain.  Monkeys who see another monkey get a reward may refuse a lesser reward when offered later.  Neuroscientists have found that when given an unfair offer the area of the brain related to “disgust” is activated. Hindsight Bias:  Could you have predicted that “Argo” would have won best picture?  Most people believe they could have come to the correct conclusion if asked.  Make sense of the past with one outcome instead of the multiple outcomes possible.  Has adapted properties; allows us to learned without having to admit we were wrong. Cognitive Dissonance and Judgment:  When the world didn’t end last December what did doomsday folks say?  NOT that they were wrong!  They say they calculated the date wrong (or prayer saved us) to avoid cognitive dissonance  Many cases where this happens o People continue to smoke by disregarding evidence that it is bad or by saying “they will die anyway” Intelligence:  Question for you  What is intelligence?  There is no legitimate definition Measur
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