Ch. 9

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Psychology and Social Behavior
Jodi Anne Quas

Thinking 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 o Usually take the form of mental images- mental representations that resemble the objects they represent by directly reflecting the perceptual qualities of the thing represented o Other representations are symbolic (stand for the content without sharing any characteristics with the thing it represents  Analogical images v. symbolic symbols o Analogical- drawing of a cat (looks like the creature it represents but not exact) o Symbolic- the word “CAT” is an abstract representation of the creature Mental Images  Why do people describe their images as mental pictures? o Spatial layout o Overlap 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 o Transcranial 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 Propositions  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 o Node- 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 o Associative links- In network-based models of mental representation, connections between the symbols (or nodes) in the network o Spread of activation will be strong/weak between nodes that are strongly/weakly associated o Spreading activation- the process through which activity in one node in a network flows outward to other nodes through associative links  NARDE-DOCTOR, GARDEN-DOCTOR, NURSE-DOCTOR example  quicker responses indicating relatedness if word “DOCTOR” is primed previously 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” • The various steps we use when trying to reach beyond the evidence we’ve encountered so far, and to draw conclusions from that evidence  Judgment heuristics • Heuristics- a strategy for making judgments quickly, at the price of occasional mistakes (relatively efficient but occasionally leads to error)  quick judgments • 2 types: o 1. Availability heuristics  Frequency estimates, how often you’ve encountered a particular event  “a strategy for judging how frequently something happens – or how common it is – based on how easily examples of it come to mind  Expt. Are there more words, R___ or __r_?  People could readily think of r___ words and thought there were more r___ than __r_ because of the ease of retrieval, but they drew the wrong conclusion o 2. Representativeness heuristics  Judgments hinge on categorization  “a strategy for judging whether an individual, object, or event belongs in a certain category based on how typical of the category it seems to be”  “man who” or “woman who” argument  Dual-process theories • Dual-process theory- the proposal that judgment involves two types of thinking: a fast, efficient, but sometimes faulty set of strategies, and a slower, more laborious, but less risky set of strategies o System 1- the fast, efficient, but sometimes faulty type of thinking o System 2- the slower, more effortful, and more accurate type of reasoning • People are more likely to rely on fast and easy strategies if pressed for time • People more likely to rely on System 1 if asked to think about probabilities (surgery = .2 chance of side effects); more likely to rely on System 2 if thinking about frequencies (2/10 people who have this surgery have side effects) 2. Reasoning: Drawing Implications From Our Beliefs • Reasoning- the process of figuring out the implicati
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