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Chapter 9

PSY BEH 9 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Affective Forecasting, Logic Puzzle, Confirmation Bias

Psychology and Social Behavior
Course Code
Jodi Anne Quas

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Mental Representations
Mental representations- contents in the mind that stand for some object or event or state
of affairs, allowing us to think about those objects or events even in their absence
Distinguishing Images and Symbols
Some mental representations are analogical (capture some of the actual characteristics
of what they represent
oUsually take the form of mental images- mental representations that resemble
the objects they represent by directly reflecting the perceptual qualities of the
thing represented
oOther representations are symbolic (stand for the content without sharing any
characteristics with the thing it represents
Analogical images v. symbolic symbols
oAnalogical- drawing of a cat (looks like the creature it represents but not exact)
oSymbolic- the word “CAT” is an abstract representation of the creature
Mental Images
Why do people describe their images as mental pictures?
oSpatial layout
oOverlap between brain areas crucial for creating and examining mental images
and the brain areas crucial for visual perception
Ex. Occipital lobe active during both visual perception and visual imagery
oTranscranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
Visual images are picture-like, not pictures
Duck/rabbit example: picture of the duck/rabbit is easily reinterpreted, the
corresponding image is not
Symbols can be assembled into propositions, statements that relate a subject (the item
about which the statement is being made) and the predicate (what’s being asserted
about the subject)
Individual symbols serve as nodes within a network
oNode- In network-based models of mental representation, a “meeting place” for
the various connections associated with a particular topic
Individual nodes connected to each other by associative links
oAssociative links- In network-based models of mental representation,
connections between the symbols (or nodes) in the network
oSpread of activation will be strong/weak between nodes that are strongly/weakly
oSpreading activation- the process through which activity in one node in a network
flows outward to other nodes through associative links
quicker responses indicating relatedness if word “DOCTOR” is primed
Judgment: Drawing Conclusions from Experience
directed thinking- thinking aimed at a particular goal; the ways people draw conclusions
or make decisions
Thought processes divided into 4 sections:
1. Judgment
“the process of extrapolating from evidence to draw conclusions”
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