EDFL 2240 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Exemplar Theory, Prototype Theory, Concept Map

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Teaching Thinking
A classic question
o “How do we make sense of the work around us? How do we determine what
something is?”
Concepts: mental abstractions or categories of similar objects, people, events, or ideas.
How are concepts organized?
o The classical view (over 2000 years old)
Defining features
Must be necessary and sufficient ()
Must be present or you aren’t a _________
Characteristic features
All members are equal
Might be present in some cases, but not in all cases
Prototype theory (1970’s on)
“The most representative instance of a given concept”
More characteristics features = more representative
Exemplar theory
“highly typical instances” of a given concept
Concept controversy
o Concepts are deceptively difficult to agree upon…
How else do we organize knowledge?
o Scripts
A mental list of “how to do something”
o Networks
Our mental concept map linking everything together
Reasoning skills and pitfalls
o The problem: “satisficing”
o Reasoning: “the process of drawing conclusions from evidence”
Deductive reasoning
Applying a general assumption to a specific instance
Leads to logically certain conclusions IF your assumption is true
When the original statement is true then the result will also be true
Inductive reasoning
Using specific instances to create a general assumption
Does NOT provide logical certainty (but still worthwhile)
Can lead to untrue results
o Reasoning isn’t the only way people try to figure thigs out and solve problems
o Are not reasoning
o They are built in mental short cuts to help our brain decide things faster
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