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Chapter 8 part 2

PSYCO104 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8 part 2: Carrie Underwood, Problem Solving, Representativeness Heuristic

Course Code
Pamela Woodman
8 part 2

of 3
Problem solving:
problem solving- refers to active efforts to discover what must be done to achieve a goal
this is not readily attainable
problems can be categorized into three basic processes
problems of inducing structure- requires people to discover the relationships
among numbers,words, symbols or ideas
problems of arrangement- requires people to arrange the parts of a problem in a
way that satisfies some criteria
problems of transformation- requires people to carry out a sequence of
transformation in order to reach a specific goal
insight- is the sudden discovery of the correct solution following incorrect attempts based
primarily on trial and error
barriers of problem solving:
irrelevant information
effective problem solving requires a person to understand what
information is relevant and what is not
functional fixedness
tendency to perceive a item only in terms of its most common use
ex. using a book only to read instead of also using it also as a
paperweight (page 342 in 4th edition figure 8.7 or page 345 in 2nd edition
figure 8.8)
mental set
exists when people persist on using problem solving strategies that have
worked in the past
unnecessary constraints
evaluating all the constraints without assuming any don’t exist
limiting how something can work
approaches to problem solving:
using algorithms and heuristics:
trial and error approach
forming subgoals
intermediate steps towards a solution
working backwards
starting at the end of a problem and working backwards
searching for analogies
finding links between two problems
changing the representation of a problem
new way to look at the problem
taking a break
letting information sink in so you can think it over and reevaluate problem
different cultures may have different approaches to problem solving
Decision Making:
basic strategies:
making choices on preferences, quirks and complexities:
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the more options one has, the more likely they are to make an error
having to make a lot of decisions depletes mental resources and undermines
subsequent self-control
an additive strategy- list pro and cons, rate desirability to come to a final decision
elimination- eliminating less attractive alternatives,
making choices on preferences, quirks and complexities:
emotion influences decision making
if they can avoid it, people tend to not have to grapple with uncertainty
judgement about the quality of various alternative can be swayed by extraneous
factors such as: brand familiarity and price
taking chances, factors weighed in risky decisions:
risky decision making involves making decisions under conditions of uncertainty
uncertainty exists when people don't know what will happen
to explain decision that violate expected value, some theories replace the
objective value of an outcome with its subjective utility
subjective utility represents what an outcome is personally worth to an individual
another way to improve our understanding is to consider individual estimates of
the subjective probability of events, if people don’t know actual probabilities they
must rely on their personal estimates of probabilities
heuristics and judging probability:
availability heuristics- involves basing the estimate probability of an event on the
ease with which irrelevent instances come to mind
representative heuristics- involves bases the estimate probability of an event on
how similar it is to the typical prototype of the event
thinking fast and thinking slow:
dual-processing theory
one method is a more automatic mode of thinking in which we expend
very little effort and over which we have no control, quick, simple,
effortless, automatic judgments. is involved when we read words off a
billboard, detect hostility in someone's voice and answer questions such
as 2+2
second method is under our control and requires more effort this thinking
is a thinking from which we derive our sense of choice, deliberation,
concentration, and personal agency, system two is invoked when we look
for a person in a crowd at a CARRIE UNDERWOOD concert who’s
wearing a black polo shirt, when we fill out income tax forms, or when we
try to maintain a faster walking speed than is normal for us
functional fixedness- tendency to perceive an item only in terms of its common use
mental set- exists when people persist in problem solving strategies that have worked in
the past
problem space- refer to the set of possible pathway to a solution considered by the
problem solver
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trial and error- involves trying possible solutions and discarding those that are in error
until one works
algorithm- methodical, step-by-step procedure for trying all possible alternatives in
searching for a solution to a problem
heuristic- guiding principle or “rule of thumb” used in solving problems or making
field dependence- independence refers to individual tendency to reply on primarily on
external vs. internal frames of reference when orientating themselves in space
decision making- involves evaluating alternatives and making choices among them
theory of bounded rationality- asserts that people tend to use simple strategies in
decision making that focus only on a few facets of available options and often resolves in
“irrational” decision that are less optional
risky decision making- involves making choices under conditions of uncertainty
available heuristics- involves basing the estimates probability of an event on the ease
with which relevant instances come to mind
representative heuristic- involves basing the estimated probability of an event similar it is
to the typical prototype of an event
conjunction fallacy- occurs when people estimate the odds of two uncertain events
happening together are greater than the odds of either event happening alone
gambler’s fallacy- the belief the odds of an event increase if the event hasn’t occurred
belief perseverance- the tendency to hang onto beliefs in the fae of contradictory
framing- refers to how decision issues are posed or how choices are structured
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