Chapter 8: Thinking and Intelligence
How does the Mind Represent Information
-cognitive pyshology was originally based on the notion that the brain represent
information, and that the act of thinking – that is cognition is directly associated with
manipulating these representation.
-we use two basic types of representation every day, analogical and symbolic
-Analogical representations have some characteristics of actual ojects, such as maps
reflecting thephysical layout of geography or family tress indicating the degree of
relationship between relatives.
-Symbolic representations most often are words or ideas, such as knowing that the word
violin stands for a musical object
Mental Images Are Analogical Representations
-we often appear to see visual images, which happens without consciously trying to do so.
-several lines of evidence support the notion that representations take on such picture like
-then these ares are likely responsible for providing the spatial aspects, such as size and
shape, of analogical visual imagery.
-These studies show that when we retrieve information from memory, as when we recall
a picture we recently saw in a newspaper, the representation of that picture in our mind’s
eye parallels the representation that was in our brain the frst time we saw the picture.
Limits of Analogical Representations
-the range of knowledge we can represent in this way is limited.
-if something cannot be wholly perceived by our perceptual system, we cannot have a
complete analogical representation of it.
Concepts are Symbolic Representations
-Much of our thinking reflects our general knowledge about objects in the world rather
than simply their visual representations
-symbolic representations consist of words and abstract ideas.
-Grouping things together based on shared properties, known as categorization, reduces
the amount of knowledge we must hold in memory and is therefore an efficient way of
-Concept refers to a class or category that includes some number of individuals or
-concepts can be mental representatives of categories, such as musical instruments, fruits,
-The notion that concepts are formed by defining attributes is called the defining
-according to this model, each concept is characterized by a list of features that are
necessary to determine if an object is a member of a category.
-Althought the defining attribute model is appealing, it fails to capture many key aspects
of how we organize things in our heads.
1) the model suggest that membership within a category is on all or non basis, but in
reality we often make exceptions in our categorizations.