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Chapter 8

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McGill University
PSYC 100
James Mac Dougall

Chapter 8Thinking and IntelligenceGerd Gigerenzer proposed that lowprobability events that are highly publicizedhave dire consequences can result in fears called dread risksThese dread risks profoundly affect reasoning and decision makingoie 911 changed flying statistics and made some companies go bankrupt but car accidents increased that year as wellbiases that enter into reasoning and decision makingousually take effect after highly publicized traumatic events that are unusualHow does the mind represent informationHow we use information when we think and what it means tot think intelligentlyThoughts guide behaviour as we solve problems make decisions try to make sense of events going on around usThought processes lead to great ideascreative discoveries or even bad decisionregretMalcolm Gladwell journalist says ability to use information is critical human skillUnconscious cognitive processes not only influence thought and behaviour but also affect decision making and problem solvingSome thoughts are generated images in our headsSome are words spoken in our headsOthers are difficult to describe because they are pulled fully formed without conscious awareness of where they came fromCognitive psychology based on notions that the brain represents informationthe act of thinking is directly associated with manipulating these representationsCognitionmental activity such as thinking or representing informationUnderstanding everyday mental representationsTwo types of representationsform the basis of human thought intelligence and ability to solve everyday lifes complex problemsoAnalogical representationa mental representation that has some of the physical characteristics of an object it is analogous to the object imagesoSymbolic representationan abstract mental representation that does not correspond to the physical features of an object or idea wordsMental images are analogical representationsIn minds eye we see images without tryingEvidence supports notion that representations take on picturelike qualities70s experiment where people were shown letters and numbers and asked to determine which had the normal orientation or the mirror imageoobjects were rotated and presented in various positionsotime a participant took to determine if it was normal or mirror depended on degrees or rotationthe farther the object was rotated from the upright position the longer the discrimination tookolongest reaction tie when object was fully upside downothe farther the object was from upright the longer it took because representation need to be rotated moresome thoughts take the form of mental imagesstudying mental representations at biological level Stephen Kosslyn showed visual imagery is associated with activity in visual perceptionrelated areas of brain primary visual cortexosame brain areas are activated when we view something than when we think in imagesstudies show that when you retrieve information from memory the representation of the picture in your minds eye parallels representation in the brain the first time you saw the pictureolike having an eye into the brain instead of outside to worldono picture exists inside head neural activity consists of electrical impulses that cause groups of neurons to fireoexperiences seems like viewing picture in the brainomental image not perfectly accuratecorresponds to physical object it representsomental images allow to answer questions about objects not in presence omanipulating mental images allows you to think about environment in novelcreative ways solve problemslimits of analogical representationsoonly represent for limited range of knowledge analogicallyoif it cannot be perceived wholly by perceptual system cannot form complete analogical representation of itomental mapsmixture of analogical and symbolic representationsoie need more knowledge to figure things out osymbolic representation can yield wrong answer if general knowledge is correct because of regularization of irregular shapes in memory as a shortcut to keep informationConcepts are symbolic representationssymbolic representations consist words which represent abstract ideas in succinct verbal formmuch thinking reflects not only visual representation of objects but general knowledge of world as wellquestionhow do we use knowledge about objects efficientlythings in mind are categorized based on shared properties to reduce the amount of knowledge we must hold in memorykeep things efficientconcepta mental representation that groups or categorizes objects events or relations around common themesocategoryclass with subtypes or individual items instruments in string familyorelations between representations elephants are heavier than miceoquality or dimension brightnesswidth
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