Cognition Thinking and Reasoning

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Cognition Thinking and Reasoning. Key Question. How do we construct and process information based on our needs, motives and desires?. Chief Belief of the Cognitive Perspective. The mind is like a super computer processor. Concept. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Cognition Thinking and Reasoning

Cognition Thinking and ReasoningKey QuestionHow do we construct and process information based on our needs, motives and desires?

Chief Belief of the Cognitive PerspectiveThe mind is like a super computer processorConceptA mental category which groups pieces of information together which share common propertiesObjectsRelationsActivitiesAbstractionsQualitiesAllow us to summarize info in a manageable format to make quick and efficient decisionsCategorization of ConceptsBasic Concepts-concepts having a moderate number of instancesEasier to acquire than those having few (more specific) or many (more abstract) instancesConvey an optimal amount of infoBased on:Prototype-our own representative example of a conceptWe compare instances of a concept to our prototype to evaluate how representative the instance is of the conceptWe link our concepts together via relationships that give the concept meaning and express a single ides called PropositionsPropositions are further linked into cognitive schemas which create an integrated mental network of knowledge, beliefs, and expectations about a particular topicImages, particularly Mental Images, are important in the construction of cognitive schemas as well.These mental representations allow us to manipulate and may exist in all sensory modalities

Organization of the BrainConscious = ThoughtMany processes are performed by our mind without our deliberate knowledgeSubconscious Processes- lay outside of awareness, but can be brought into conscious when necessary (ex decoding letters to read)Nonconscious Processes-remain outside of awareness (ex intuition) Jerome Kagan (1989) argued that fully conscious awareness occurs only when we must make a deliberate choiceMuch of Cognition has been spent on this conscious thought though and out ability to reasonReasoning Drawing conclusions from observations, facts or assumptionsFormal ReasoningSolving problems with a single right (or best) answerOptions:algorithms-set of procedures guaranteed to produce correct answer deductive reasoning-drawing conclusions from a set of observations or propositions (premises) Important not to reverse premisesInductive reasoning-conclusion probably follows from the premise, but could be false

Informal ReasoningSolving problems with no clearly correct solutionOptions:Heuristic-a rule of thumb that suggests the course of action without guaranteeing an optimal solutionDialectical Reasoning-the process of comparing and evaluating opposing points of view in order to resolve differences. Creative ThinkingPeople often stick to the same heuristics, strategies and rules that have worked for them before, called mental setHelp us to be efficient, but hinder us when fresh insights and methods are neededPeople who are uncreative tend to be convergent thinkers-following a particular set of steps that they think will converge on one correct solutionPeople who are creative tend to be divergent thinkers-mental exploration of unconventional alternatives in breaking mental setsCreativityTraits associated with Creativity:IQ is not one of themThere are 3:NonconformityCuriosity Why?Persistence Development of Thought and ReasoningFirst proposed by Swiss Psychologist Jean PiagetAs children develop, they must make constant mental adaptations to new observations and experiencesTakes two forms:Assimilation-the process of absorbing new information into existing cognitive structures(ex. Owen and the dogs)Accommodation-the process of modifying existing cognitive structures in response to experience and new information(ex. Owen and the cat)

Piagets Stages of Cognitive DevelopmentSensorimotor Stage (Birth to Age 2)Preoperational Stage (2-7)Concrete Operations Stage (7-12)Formal Operations Stage (12-Adult)Challenges to PiagetChanges between stages are not as clear-cut not as sweeping as Piaget impliedChildren may use several different strategies to solve a problem and it may pertain to circumstances, therefore stages actually overlapChildren Can understand far more than Piaget gave them credit forObject permanence may be much youngerOperations may take place much earlier alsoPreschoolers are not as egocentric as Piaget thought3 and 4 year olds can take anothers perspectiveWhat we do take from PiagetNew reasoning abilities depend on the emergence of previous onesChildren actively interpret worlds at all stages not just passive empty vessels (important to understand for education)Piaget probably underestimated children and overestimated adultsBelieved all adults developed formal operational reasoning and abstract reasoning (some do not)How Adults ThinkBased on the work of King and Kitchener in 1994 Interested in determining how people came to decisions on important issuesDeveloped 7 cognitive stages on the road to reflective thoughtSome in childhood others in adolescence and adulthood

Broad Outlines of King and Kitcheners StagesTwo Pre-Reflective StagesCorrect answer always exists through sensed or through authoritiesIf authorities dont have answer answer is what feels rightThree Quasi-Reflective StagesPeople know that some things cant be known with absolute certainty, not sure how to deal with such situationsAny judgment about evidence is considered purely subjective (All opinions are created equal)Two Reflective StagesSome things can never be known with certainty, but some judgments are more validWilling to consider evidence from a variety of sources and reason dialecticallyMost people do not show evidence of this until their middle or late 20s, if at all.Represents movement away from ignorant certainty towards intelligent confusion (Kroll, 1992)

Barriers to Reasoning RationallyThe need to be rightTelevision viewing?Hindsight BiasPrevents us from looking back at findings critically (we assume we knew more that we actually did)Avoiding LossPeople make decisions based on trying to avoid and minimize risks and lossesExaggerating the ImprobableParticularly with catastrophic events due to the availability heuristic

More Barriers to reasoning RationallyConfirmation BiasTendency to accept evidence that confirms what we already believe and ignore or reject information that disconfirms our ideasNeed for Cognitive ConsistencyPeople look to avoid cognitive dissonance-state of tension that occurs when a person simultaneously holds two cognitions that are psychologically inconsistent, or when a persons belief is incongruent with their behaviorDissonance exists and needs to be reduced when:You need to justify a choice or decision you freely madeYour actions violate your self-conceptYou put a lot of effort into a decision, only to find the results less than you hoped for (Justification of Effort)Overcoming Cognitive BiasesPeople are not equally irrational in all situationsBias diminishes in areas where we have expertise or when decisions have serious consequencesOnce we understand a bias, we may be able to reduce or eliminate itHal Arkes (1988) work with NeuropsychologistsAnimal MindsAnimals seem to possess Cognitive abilitiesOriginally explained through principles of operant conditioning, but now we have moved on from ridicule of behavioristsStudy of Cognitive Ethology has demonstrated animals abilities to anticipate, make plans, and coordinate activitiesMuch of this could be tied to genetics as well, so we must be cautiousExamples of Animal CognitionOtters and Chimps using stones as rudimentary toolsChimps seemingly able to count to understand more and lessMy favorite:Chimp that doesnt like Zoo GuestsAnimal LanguageNo nonhuman species meets the following criteria for language:Must use combinations of sounds, gestures, or symbols that are meaningful, not randomMust permit displacement, communication about objects and events that are not presentMust have a grammar that permits productivity, ability to produce and comprehend an infinite number of new utterancesSome primates have been trained to communicate, but interpretations often times were subjective leading to fascinating findings that may have been exaggeratedOther animals have also been used (Dolphins, Parrots)

Thinking about the Thinking of AnimalsMust be careful to avoid AnthropomorphismDemonstrated in the horse Clever Hans