Preview Question 1: What are the functions of concepts?
Preview Question 2: What strategies do we use to solve problems, and what obstacles hinder our problem solving?
Preview Question 3: How do heuristics, overconfidence, and framing influence our decisions and judgments?
Preview Question 4: How do our preexisting beliefs influence our decision making?
Chapter 10 thinking
ThinkingChapter 10 1
Thinking Concepts Solving Problems Making Decisions and Forming Judgments 2
ThinkingThinking, or cognition, refers to a process that involves knowing, understanding, remembering, and communicating. 3
Cognitive Psychologists Thinking involves a number of mentalactivities, which are listed below. Cognitive psychologists study these in great detail. 1. Concepts 2. Problem solving 3. Decision making 4. Judgment formation 4
ConceptsThe mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people. There are a variety of chairs but their common features define the concept of a chair. 5
Category HierarchiesWe organize concepts into category hierarchies. Courtesy of Christine Brune 6
Development of Concepts We form some concepts with definitions. Forexample, a triangle has three sides. Mostly, we form concepts with mental images or typicalexamples (prototypes). For example, a robin is a prototype of a bird, but a penguin is not. J. Messerschmidt/ The Picture Cube Daniel J. Cox/ Getty ImagesTriangle (definition) Bird (mental image) 7
Problem SolvingProblem solving strategies include: 1. Trial and Error 2. Algorithms 3. Heuristics 4. Insight 8
AlgorithmsAlgorithms, which are very time consuming, exhaust all possibilities before arriving at a solution. Computers use algorithms. SPLOYOCHYGIf we were to unscramble these letters to form a word using an algorithmic approach, we would face 907,200 possibilities. 9
HeuristicsHeuristics are simple, thinking strategiesthat allow us to makejudgments and solve problems efficiently. B2M Productions/Digital Version/Getty Images Heuristics are less time consuming, butmore error-prone than algorithms. 10
HeuristicsHeuristics make it easier for us to use simpleprinciples to arrive at solutions to problems. SPLOYOCHYG S P L O HO C H G Y PSYCY OLO Put a Y at the end, and see if the word begins to make sense. 11
Insight Insight involves a sudden novel realization of asolution to a problem.Humans and animals have insight. Grande using boxes to obtain food 12
InsightBrain imaging and EEG studies suggest thatwhen an insight strikes(the “Aha” experience), it activates the right From Mark Jung-Beekman, Northwestern University and John Kounios, Drexel University temporal cortex (Jung-Beeman & others, 2004). The time between not knowing the solutionand realizing it is about 0.3 seconds. 13
Obstacles in Solving Problems Confirmation Bias: A tendency to search for information that confirms a personal bias. 2–4–6 Rule: Any ascending series of numbers. 1 – 2 – 3 wouldcomply. Wason’s students had difficulty figuring out the rule due to a confirmation bias (Wason, 1960). 14
Making Decision & Forming JudgmentsEach day we make hundreds of judgments anddecisions based on our intuition, seldom using systematic reasoning. 19
Using and Misusing Heuristics Two kinds of heuristics, representativeheuristics and availability heuristics, have been identified by cognitive psychologists. of Louisville and the Tversky family Courtesy of Greymeyer Award, University of Louisville and Daniel Kahneman Courtesy of Greymeyer Award, University 20 Amos Tversky Daniel Kahneman
Representativeness HeuristicJudging the likelihood of things or objects interms of how well they seem to represent, or match, a particular prototype.If you meet a slim, short, man who wears glassesand likes poetry, what do you think hisdriver is far Probability that that person is a truck profession greater than an ivy league professor just becausewould be? there are more truck drivers than such professors.An Ivy league professor or a truck driver? 21
Availability HeuristicWhy does our availability heuristic lead us astray? Whatever increases the ease of retrieving information increases its perceived availability. How is retrieval facilitated?1. How recently we have heard about the event.2. How distinct it is.3. How correct it is. 22
OverconfidenceIntuitive heuristics, confirmation of beliefs, and the inclination to explain failures increase ouroverconfidence. Overconfidence is a tendency to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgments.In the stock market, both the seller and the buyer may be confident about their decisions on a stock. 23
Exaggerated FearThe opposite of having overconfidence ishaving an exaggerated fear about what mayhappen. Such fears may be unfounded. AP/ Wide World PhotosThe 9/11 attacks led to adecline in air travel due to fear. 24
The Effects of Framing Decisions and judgments may be significantly affected depending upon how an issue is framed.Example: What is the best way to marketground beef — as 25% fat or 75% lean? 25
The Belief Perseverance PhenomenonBelief perseverance is the tendency to cling to our beliefs in the face of contrary evidence. If you see that a country is hostile, you arelikely to interpret their ambiguous actions as a sign of hostility (Jervis, 1985). 26
Perils & Powers of Intuition Intuition may be perilous if unchecked, butmay also be extremely efficient and adaptive. 27