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Lecture 13

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Carolyn Ensley

 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 w/o attention  Knitting, some driving, reading a word  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  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  Non-conscious thinking  Subconscious thinking CAN enter consciousness…can think about "how we drive", etc.  Non-conscious think is never something that enters consciousness  Even when we want to know where an idea came from….  Intuition and implicit learning  Probably involves several stages of non-conscious thought  Often used in problem solving  Implicit learning is learning when we can't explain how we learned something or what it is that we know  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  Some theorists argue that we spend most of our lives in "mindless" mode only using effortful processing when absolutely necessary  Reasoning Rationally  Formal reasoning  See it on standardized tests  There Is one correct answer and it can be answered using the information given using an algorithm or rule  Recipes are also algorithms!  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:  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 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 or "dialectical reasoning" in these cases  Heuristics and Dialectical Reasoning  Heuristics used in chess games and card games (for example)  Dialectical reasoning involves comparing two sets of arguments and deciding which carries more weight (e.g., pro vs con)  Juries are supposed to o this as are voters  Barriers to reasoning rationally  We saw how people have trouble with formal logic in the "card problem"  People have the capacity for formal reasoning, dialectical reasoning and making rational judgements 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  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 reduced beef consumption  Hearing about BSE (the technic
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