PSYC 180 Chapter Notes -Insideview, Indifference Curve, Reference Class Forecasting

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8 May 2012
Thinking Fast and Slow Notes
Characteristics of S1
Generates impressions, feelings, and inclinations; when endorsed by S2 these becomes beliefs, attitudes,
and intentions
Operates automatically and quickly, with little or effort, and no sense of voluntary control
Can be programmed by S2 to mobilize attention when a particular pattern is detected
Executes skilled responses and generates skilled intuitions, after adequate training
Creates a coherent pattern of activated ideas in associative memory
Links a sense of cognitive ease to illusions of truth, pleasant feelings, and reduced vigilance
Distinguishes the surprising from the normal
Infers and invents causes and intentions
Neglects ambiguity and suppresses doubt
Is biased to believe and confirm
Exaggerates emotional consistency (halo effect)
Focuses on existing evidence and ignores absent evidence (WYSIATI)
Generates a limited set of basic assessments
Represents sets by norms and prototypes, does not integrate
Matches intensities across scale
Computes more than intended (mental shotgun)
Sometimes substitutes an easier question for a difficult one (heuristics)
Is more sensitive to change than to states (prospect theory)
Overweights low probabilities
Shows diminishing sensitivity to quantity
Responds more strongly to losses than to gains (loss aversion)
Frames decisions problems narrowly, in isolation from one another
Chapter 1: The Characters of the Story
System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort, and no sense of voluntary control
System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex
computations. The operations of System 2 are often associated with the subjective experience of agency,
choice, and concentration
System believes itself to be where the action is
S1 effortlessly originates impressions and feelings that are main sources of the explicit beliefs and
deliberate choices of S2
S1 examples (drive a car on an empty road, understand simple sentences)
S2 examples require attention and are disrupted when attention is drawn away (park in a narrow
space, tell someone your phone number)
Cognitive illusions illusions of thought
In order to avoid illusions, we must learn to recognize situations in which mistakes are likely and try
harder to avoid significant mistakes when the stakes are high
Chapter 2: Attention and Effort
S2 is lazy
Pupil dilation is a good measure of the physical arousal that accompanies mental effort
Law of least effort if there are several ways of achieving the same goal, people will eventually
gravitate to the least demanding course of action
S2 is the only one that can follow rules, compare objects on several attributes, and make deliberate
choices between options
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S1 detects simple relations
S2 can adopt “task sets” program memory to obey an instruction that overrides habitual responses
Chapter 3: The Lazy Controller
Flow state of effortless attending
Separates the two forms of effort: concentration on the task, and the deliberate control of attention
People who are cognitively busy are more likely to make selfish choices, use sexist language, and make
superficial judgments in social situations
Self-control requires attention and effort
Ego depletion if you have had to force yourself to do something, you are less willing or less able to
exert self-control when the next challenge comes around
Chapter 4: The Associative Machine
Associatively coherent self-reinforcing pattern of cognitive, emotional, and physical responses that is
both diverse and integrated
Principles of association: resemblance, contiguity in time and place, causality
Priming effect exposure to a word causes immediate and measurable changes in the easy with which
many related words can be evoked
Ideomotor effect influencing of an action by the idea (Florida effect)
Lady Macbeth effect feeling that one’s soul is stained appears to trigger a desire to cleanse one’s
Chapter 5: Cognitive Ease
The measure of how much attention or effort is required
Cognitive strain affected by both the current level of effort and the presence of unmet demands
Predictable illusions inevitably occur if a judgment is based on an impression of cognitive ease or strain
Chapter 6: Norms, Surprises, and Causes
Main function of S1 is to maintain and update a model of your personal world
Two varieties of surprise: active/conscious, and passive
Norm theory: events appear normal than they would have otherwise, but not necessarily because they
confirm advance expectations. They appear normal because they recruit the original episode, retrieve it
from memory, and are interpreted in conjunction with it
Norms provide the background for a vast number of categories, and the detection of anomalies
“impressions of causality” (products of S1)
Chapter 7: A Machine for Jumping to Conclusions
positive test strategy deliberate search for confirming evidence
confirmation bias people seek data that are likely to be compatible with the beliefs they already hold
halo effect the tendency to like (or dislike) everything about a person, including things you have not
tame the halo effect by decorrelating errors
associative machine represents only activated ideas
WYSIATI facilitates the achievement of coherence and of the cognitive ease that causes us to accept a
statement as true
Explains biases of judgments and choices
Overconfidence: neither the quality nor quantity of the evidence counts for much in subjective
confidence. Our associative system tends to settle on a coherent pattern of activation and suppresses
doubt and ambiguity
Framing effects: different way of presenting the same information often evoke different emotions
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Base-rate neglect
Chapter 8: How Judgments Happen
Basic assessment: various aspects of the situation without specific intention and with little or no effort
play an important role in intuitive judgment
S1 ability to translate values across dimensions and mental shotgun
Judgment heuristic
Mental shotgun we often compute much more than we want or need
Chapter 9: Answering an Easier Question
Substitution: the operation of answering one question in place of another
The target question is the assessment you intend to produce
The heuristic question is the simpler question that you answer instead
Heuristic a simple procedure that helps find adequate answers to difficult questions
Affect heuristic people let their likes and dislikes determine their beliefs about the world
Chapter 10: The Law of Small Numbers
Law of small numbers: the law of large numbers applies to small numbers as well
Law of large numbers: results of large samples deserve more trust than smaller samples
The exaggerated faith in small samples is only one example of a more general illusion we pay more
attention to the content of messages than to information about their reliability, and as a result end up
with a worldview that is simple and more coherent than the data justify. Jumping to conclusions is a
safer sport in the world of our imagination than it is in reality
Statistics produce many observations that appear to beg for causal explanations but do not lend
themselves to such explanations. Many facts of the world are due to chance, including accidents of
sampling. Causal explanations of chance events are inevitably wrong
Chapter 11: Anchors
Anchoring effect people consider a particular value for an unknown quantity before estimating that
People adjust less when their mental resources are depleted
S2 is susceptible to the biasing influence of anchors that make some information easier to retrieve
Priming effects: thoughts and behaviour may be influenced by stimuli to which you pay no attention at
all, and even by stimuli of which you are completely unaware
Chapter 12: The Science of Availability
Availability heuristic process of judging frequency by the ease with which instances come to mind
Substitutes one question for another
Salient events that attract your attention will be easily retrieved from memory (Hollywood scandals)
Dramatic events temporarily increase the availability of its category
Personal experiences, pictures, and vivid examples
Availability bias
Chapter 13: Availability, Emotion, and Risk
Availability cascade: availability provides a heuristic for judgments other than frequency. In particular,
the importance of an idea is often judged by the fluency (and emotional charge) with which that idea
comes to mind
We either ignore small risks completely or overweight them
Probability neglect the amount of concern is not adequately sensitive to the probability of harm
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