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Chapter 8

Psy100-Chapter 8.doc

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Chapter 8Thinking and intelligence For the most part our thinking is adaptive eg develop rules for making fast decisions in everyday lifeThoughts guide much of our behaviour How does the mind represent infoCognition mental activity such as thinking or representing infoCognitive psychology was first based on the notion that the brain represents information and that act of thinking cognition is directly associated with manipulating these representationsTwo types of representations most often corresponding to images and words 1Analogical has some of the physical characteristics of an object are analogous to objects maps family trees2Symbolic abstract does not correspond to physical features of an object or idea most often words or ideas ie notice there is little correspondence between what a violin looks or sounds like and the letters that make up the word Mental images are analogical representations take on picturelike qualities Experiment Shepard participants were asked to view letters and numbers and to determine whether given object was in its normal orientation or mirror image oThe length of time subjects took to determine whether an object was normal or mirror depended on its degree of rotation Experiment Kosslyn analogical representations activate the primary visual cortex Experiment Farah patient with damage to temporal cortex was deficient in calling up mental images but not at spatial tasks Ability to use spatial info is tied to maturation of childs nervous systemThe representation of picture in minds eye parallels that which was in our brain the first time we saw the picture Analogical has limits something too big Mental maps involve mixture of analogical and symbolic representations which is farther north Seattle or Montreal Seattle is but even if have analogical representation of map symbolic knowledge tells you Canada is northConcepts are symbolic Grouping things together based on shared properties categorization reduces the amount of information we need to store in memory and is an efficient way of thinking Eg musical instruments Concepts refer to a class or category that includes some number of individuals or subtypesConcepts are mental representations of categories or relations Allow us to organize representations around common themes so every instance of an object relation or quality is not stored individuallyDefining attribute modelthe idea that each concept is characterized by a list of features that are necessary to determine if an object is a member of a category Concepts are hierarchically organized superordinate or subordinate Model has shortcomingsoAllornone basis but often have exceptionsoAssumes all attributes of a category are equally salient in terms of defining the categoryoAssumes all members of a category are equal in category membership eg bachelor16 year old kid or 20 year old man who goes on dates occasionally To address shortcomings of defining attribute model use Prototype modelapproach some members in the category are more representativeprototypicalClosely resembles how we organize our knowledge of objects Allows for boundaries to be imprecise tomato fruit or veggieBUT not clear indication of what a prototype would be like
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