Exam Review Notes for chapter 10, covering both lecture and textbook material
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Baron, 1994: ch 10 Thinking: What we do in doubt about how to act, what to believe, or what to desire.
Bartlett, 1958: ch 10 Thinking: Complex high level skill that fills up the gaps in evidence.
Bruner, 1967: ch 10 Thinking: Going beyond the information given.
Focused Thinking: begins with a clear starting point and has a specific goal
Unfocused thinking: character of day dreaming, or unintentionally calling to mind a number of difference and
loosely related ideas.
GENERAL DEF OF THINKING: ch 10
A cognitive process that goes beyond the information given.
Providing multiple examples helps participants to form an abstract schema (convergence
schema), which they later apply to new, analogous problems.
o Catrambone and Holyoak: suggested further that unless participants were explicitly
asked to compare stories, they did not form the necessary schema with which to solve
People are likely to judge as valid any conclusion that reinforces their initial assumptions, regardless of
whether the conclusion follows from the premises. (Evans, Barston, pollard, Thompson, Torrens,
Browne and Cruse: Incubation
Participants in another study on incubation effects reported that during the „break‟ period they
surreptitiously thought aloud about the problem. In fact, participants in another experiemental condition
who during the break were prevented from this covert thinking about the problem (by having them
memorize a text passage) showed very few effects of incubation)
Ceraso, Provitera, woodworth, Sells: Performance on many categorical syllogisms is error prone
Chase and Novice, 1973: ch 10 compared novice and expert chess players, found:
Expert chess players were able to extract much more information from a brief exposure to a chess
board than novices.
Experts could recall more items from a brief exposure than novices.
BUT: expert/novice differences were only evident when pieces of the chess board were configured to
depict a possible chess game; when the chess pieces were random, no differences were detected
o When experts were presented with a meaningful configuration, they were able to draw on their
extensive memories of past plays and games. Novices do not have that extensive long term
memory base and were forced to simply try to maintain that information in their working
Chase and Simon: replication study
- The more expertise a chess player had, the more information he extracted even from brief exposures
to chess boards set up to reflect an ongoing chess game
- When a chess master and chess beginner are both shown a chess board for 5 secs, the chess master
will remember more about where the pieces are placed – but only if the pieces are configured to
depict a possible chess game.
Chi, Feltovich, and Glaser, 1981: ch 10
Experts and novices approach problems such as skilled games, chess, textbook problem in physics,
geometry etc. Differently
Experts, when given a series of problems to categorize, tended to organize the problems in terms of
principles or underlying structures of the problem.
Novices focused on superficial features of the problem.
Experts see and represent a problem in their domain at a deeper and more principled level than do
novices, who tend to represent information superficially.
o i.e.: when solving problems: experts tend to organize the problems in terms of psychics
principles (Newton‟s 1st law of motion‟s) ; novices instead tend to focus on the objects
mentioned in the problem, ) inclined place or frictionless surface)
o experts also spend more time analysing a problem, trying to understand it, where novices are
more likely to plunge in and start looking for solutions.
o Throughout process of problem solving, experts are more likely to check for errors in thinking.
Content effect: two people reasoning with exactly the same kind of premises will perform differently,
depending on what the preemies are „about‟
This view states that people are more critical of conclusions they do not believe and are thus more
likely to search for reasons to refute or disconfirm an unbelievable conclusion than a believable one
(Edwards, Smith, Koehler)
Valerie Thompson and colleagues tested this hypotheses
By meaning participants reaction time as they reason it a series of categorical syllogisms containing
believable and unbelievable conclusions
Found that reasonosner took longer to reason with believable than about unbeliever conclusions
People reason longer with believable concisions because they try harder to justify their acceptance.
Introspection: (ch 10) Detailed, concurrent, and non judgemental observations of the contents of your own
consciousness as you work through a problem.
Key to proper use of this technique is to avoid doing more than is asked for: don‟t explain or justify
yourself: just report it.
Galotti, Baron, Sabini:
With practice, some people seem to develop their own shortcut rules for solving syllogisms.
Generate and Test Technique: (ch 10) Involves generating a number of potential solutions and then testing
to see if the solution fits.
Only useful for a limited number of possibilities. (Possibly due to limited cognitive capacity.)
Gick and Holyoak, 1980: ch 10
Presented participants with Ducker‟s tumour problem after reading the general story.
o Found that participants who read the story of the general and were told that it contained a
relevant hint were more likely to solve the tumour problem than were participants who simply
read the general story but did not have the analogy between the problems explicitly pointed
out.(USED REASONING BY ANALOGY)
To use the analogy, people must engage in the ‘principle finding’ analysis described by
Duncker, moving beyond the details and focusing on the relevant structures of the problem.
o Gick and holyoak referred to this process as induction of an abstract schema
o Presented evidence that participants who construct such a representation are more likely to
benefit from work on analogous problems
Only 30% of individuals in their experiments not told about the analogy noticed the analogy.
75% were able to abstract the analogy when given an explicit hint that the general story could solve the
Found they could do away with explicit hungs if they gave 2 analogous stories rather than one.
Goel and colleagues; chapter 10: 2 theoretical approaches to reasoning: (rule based/mental models)
Evidence for both rule based and mental models based approaches depending on the problem
Reliance on more rule based mechanisms when reasoning with content laden material (drinking age
More visual spatial mental model based on mechanisms when reasoning with abstract material in which
one can‟t rely on past experience and knowledge.
Goel and Grafman:
Expertise by itself is not always enough for problem solving, as shown in case study of an
experienced architect with a lesion to the right prefrontal cortex – P.F
P.F and control architect asked to develop new design for lab space
P.F was unable to move from this phase to the problem solving phase – unable to generate preliminary
design until 2/3 of the way through the 2 hour session, and created an erratic and minimal preliminary
design that was never developed or detailed.
Concluded preliminary designs represented ill structured problem solving, and that P.Fs lesion “has
results in a selective impairment of the neural system that supports ill structured representations and
Gobet and Simon: examined sophistication of ply of gary kasporav, professional chess world
- Played simultaneous games against 4 to 8 opponents who were all chess masters
- Concluded that kasperov‟s superiority came from his ability to recognize patterns more than from his
ability to plan future moves
- Based this conclusion on fact that time pressure of simultaneous games would severely hamper
kasporav‟s ability to think ahead, yet the overall quality of his play did not suffer.
Glaser and Chi:
Reviewing studies on experts/novices differences, describe several qualitative distinctions between the
o 1. Experts excel in their own domains – their knowledge is domain specific.
o i.e. master chess player would not be able to solve chemistry problems as a chemist would