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Psychology (3,337)
PSYC 1000 (740)
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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 1000
Professor
Benjamin Giguere
Semester
Winter

Description
THINKING Concepts  Cognition: all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating  One of these activities is forming concepts (a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people)  Concepts simplify thinking  Often form concepts by developing prototypes (a mental image or best example of a category)  Matching new items to a prototype provides a quick and easy method for sorting items into categories (as when comparing feathered creatures to a prototypical bird, such as a robin). Problem Solving: Strategies and Obstacles  Some problems are solved through trial and error  Other problems we use algorithms (a methodological, logical rule, or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem. Contrasts with the usually speedier- but also more error prone- use of heuristics  Heuristics: a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgements and solve problems efficiently; usually speedier than algorithms  Sometimes we puzzle over problems and then pieces fall together in a flash of insight (a sudden realization of a problems solution; contrasts with strategy-based solutions)  Before insight moment, the problem solvers frontal lobes (which are involved in focusing attention) were active, and there was a burst of activity in the right temporal lobe, just above the ear  Cognitive tendencies may lead us astray  Confirmation bias: tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence  If a solution to a problem eludes you, you may experience fixation (an inability to see a problem from a fresh perspective)  Example of fixation is mental set (a tendency to approach a problem in one particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past)  As a perceptual set predisposes what we perceive; a mental set predisposes how we think; sometimes this can be an obstacle to problem solving Forming Good and Bad Decisions and Judgements  When making each days judgments and decisions we seldom take the time and effort to reason systematically  We follow our intuition (an effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or thought, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning) The Availability Heuristic  When we need to act quickly, heuristics are mental shortcuts that enable snap judgements  Availability heuristic: estimating th
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