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Chapter 8

PSY100 Psychological Science (3rd Ed.) Textbook Notes Chapt..
PSY100 Psychological Science (3rd Ed.) Textbook Notes Chapter 8

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University of Toronto St. George
Alison Luby

CHAPTER 8 – THINKING AND INTELLIGENCE -Dread Risks: fears that result from low-probability events being highly publicized – e.g. rise in automobile accidents b/c of the 9/11 (many ppl began to fear flying even though more ppl die in car accidents than in airline disasters) How Mind Represents Information -cognitive psychology is based on the notions that the brain represents information and the act of thinking, cognition (mental activity like thinking/representing information) is directly associated w/ manipulating the representations -we use representations to understand objects in our environments -Analogical Representations: has some characteristics of (“analogous to”) actual objects (e.g. maps, family trees) -Symbolic Representations: abstract; usually words or ideas; do not relate to physical qualities of objects in world (e.g. the word violin represents musical instrument; the letters of words do not correspond to what violin looks like) Analogical Representations -we often see images without trying; representations can take on picture-like qualities -The “R” Studies: participants shown the letter “R” either normal/mirrored in various angles; told to determine whether it was in normal/mirror orientation  Discrimination took longest when object was rotated from upright position (180◦); participants mentally rotated the representations of the objects to “view” objects in upright positions -visual imagery is associated w/ activity in visual perception-related areas in brain (primary visual cortex)  the same brain areas are activated when we view something and when we think in images -we can only represent limited range of knowledge analogically  E.g. Maps (like mental map of Africa) involve analogical and symbolic representations; analogical representation gives map of North America but symbolic knowledge falsely tells you that California is farther west than Alberta Symbolic Representations -includes words (representing abstract ideas in verbal form) and how we use knowledge about objects efficiently -Categorization: grouping things based on shared properties; reduces the amount of knowledge we must hold in memory and efficient way of thinking -Concepts are symbolic representations; groups/ categorizes objects, events, relations around common themes (e.g relations like “elephants are heavier than mice”, qualities like brightness/width); includes subtypes or individual objects  Ensures that we don’t have to store every instance of an object/relation/quality individually; we store abstract representation based on the properties that objects/ideas share -Defining Attribute Model of Concepts: each concept is characterized by a list of features that are necessary to determine if object is part of the category (e.g. for bachelor: “male and unmarried”)  Concepts organized hierarchically (superordinate/subordinate to each other) e.g. wind instrument subordinate to superordinate category of musical instruments  Suggests that membership within category is all-or-none basis but in reality we make exceptions in categorization  Suggests all of category’s attributes are equally important in defining the category but normally some attributes are more important than others and boundaries b/w categories are fuzzy  Suggests that all members of category are equal in category membership (no one item is a better fit than another) -Prototype Model of Concepts: categorization based on the premise that within each category, some members are more representative than others; we tend to think of a “best example” (“prototype”) for the category  E.g. robin is the prototype for bird for North Americans rather than penguins -Exemplar Model: proposes that all the examples (exemplars) of a category members form the concept; through experiences ppl form a fuzzy representation of a concept b/c there is no single representation of
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