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Chapter 8

Chapter 8.docx

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Dan Dolderman

THINKING AND INTELLIGENCEMost part of our thinking is adaptive Being able to instantly size up whether a person is trustworthy allows us to avoid harm this can happen with or without our conscious awarenessunconcious cognitive processes can affect thought and behaviourWe will see this is also true for decision making and problem solvingCognitionMental activity such as thinking or representing informationThe challenge for cognitive psychologists is to understand the nature of those everyday mental representationsAnalogical representation A mental representation that has some of the physical characteristics of an object it is analogous to the object Symbolic representation An abstract mental representation that does not correspond to the physical features of an object or ideaWhat Shepard and one of his colleagues found was that the length of time subjects took to determine whether an object was normal or a mirror image depended on its degree of rotation Thoughts can indeed can take the form of mental images Visual imagery is associated with activity in perception related areas of the brainthat isthe primary visual cortex These areas are likely responsible for providing the spatial aspectssuch as size and shapeof analogical visual imageryParticipants were asked to recall images they had just memorized demonstrating that analogical representations activate the primary visual cortexThe ability to use spatial information is tied to the maturation of a childs nervous systemInaccurate mental images are still analogical representations Grouping things together based on shared properties known as categorizationreduces the amount of knowledge we must hold in memory and is therefore an efficient way of thinkingConcept A mental representation that groups or categorizes objects events or relations around common themesDefining 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 a categoryAlthough the defining attribute model is intuitively appealing it fails to capture many key aspects of how we organize things in our heads1 membership within a category is on an all or none basisbut in reality we often make exceptions in our categorization2 All attributes of a category are equally salient in terms
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