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University of Toronto St. George
Ashley Waggoner Denton

CH8 – THINKING AND INTELLIGENCE How the Mind Represent Information  COGNITION – Mental activity such as thinking or representing information  Category, class, includes subtypes and/or individual items o Mental representational – hypothetical 'internal' cognitive symbol,  Can consists of mental representations (instruments, fruits), represents external reality, used to understand encountered objects relation btwn representations, quality or dimensions  ANALOGICAL REPRESENTATION – A mental representation that has some of the physical characteristics of an object  it is analogous to the object, ex. maps  these mental images allow use answer questions about objects not currently present, can also be manipulated  SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATION – An abstract mental representation that does not correspond to the physical features of an object or idea  Ex. words used to describe objects, not analogous  Mental Images are analogical representations o Ex. Letter harder to identify when further from mental image o DEFINING ATTRIBUTE MODEL – The idea that a concept is characterized by a list of features that are necessary to determine if an object is a member of the category; rule based approach  Limitation: suggest membership w/i category all-or-none  but exceptions exists  Limitation: suggest all given category’s attributes equally salient when defining that category  but some attributes weighted more  Limitation: all category members are considered equal members o PROTOTYPE MODEL – An approach to object categorization that is based on the premise that within each category, some members are more representative than others; resemblance based approach  Allows flexibility in representation of concepts  Limitation: how particular prototype chosen  Most common, representative? Has typical attributes? o EXEMPLAR MODEL – Information stored about the members of a category is used to determine category membership; resemblance based approach  Any concept no single best representation, instead all exemplars  Prototypes = frequently encountered members  Ppl form fuzzy representations of concept w/ experience people form b/c no single representation accepted  Schemas organize useful information about environments o Schemas – a hypothetical cognitive structure that helps use perceive, organize, process, and use information  Scripts – Schemas developed for different types of real-life situations encountered  Dictate culturally appropriate behavior  Employ schemas b/c  1. Common situations have consistent attributes  2. Ppl have specific roles w/i situational contexts o Mind’s see parallels actual sight when retrieve info from memory  Have unintended consequences, reinforces bigoted beliefs  Mental image not perfectly accurate, corresponds generally o Limits of analogical representation  Gender Roles – prescribed gender behaviors  Follow unconsciously, ex. schema of women inferior as  Can only represent limited range of knowledge analogically leader b/c lack assertiveness  Something cannot perceive wholly by perceptual system  Relational Schemas – influence ppl’s expectation of others in  can’t form complete analogical representation  Regularization of irregular shapes = shortcut, error prone social interactions  Concepts are symbolic representations  Scripts & schemas adaptive value, minimize amount of attention req. navigate familiar environment’s o Categorization – grouping things based on shared properties  Also avoid unusual/dangerous situations  Reduce amount knowledge held in memory, efficient o CONCEPT – A mental representation that groups or categorizes objects, events, or relations around common themes. Cognition  REASONING – Using info to determine if a conclusion is valid/reasonable o Good Decision Making = better lives o DECISION MAKING – Attempt to select best alt w/ several options  Less bad decision = fewer negative life events o PROBLEM SOLVING – find way around an obstacle to reach a goal.  Problem Solving Achieve Goals: move current state  goal state, o DEDUCTIVE REASONING – Using a belief or rule to determine if a overcome obstacles conclusion is valid (follows logically from the belief or rule). o Organization of subgoals – identify steps in solving particular  Allow reasoned determine statement’s validity given premises problems  Problem w/ incorrect premise, valid conclusion != true  Subgoals – steps towards completing a goal statement  Important problem solving component b/c identify appropriate  Syllogism forms, has premises and conclusion steps  Conditional Syllogism – If A is true then B is true  Problem: tricky or unintuitive steps (Tower of Hanoi) o Sudden insight  Categorical
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