Thinking and Reasoning

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					Thinking and Reasoning
  The Elements of Cognition
• Think about what thinking does for
Concept - a mental category that groups
  objects, relations, activities,
  abstractions, or qualities having
  common properties.

Basic concepts have a moderate number
 of instances thus making them easier to
 grasp than those with numerous
  The Elements of Cognition
• Prototype - is a representative example
  of a concept.

• Propositions - units of meaning that are
  made up of concepts and that express a
  single idea.
   How do we use concepts
• Concepts cannot simply be layered one
  on another. We must see their
  relationship to one another.
• Propositions - one way of storing and
  using concepts. They express a unitary
  idea based on the concept. They are
  connected through complicated
  networks of knowledge, association,
  belief and expectations.
       Cognitive Schemas
• Gender schemas represent beliefs and
  expectations about what it means to be
  male or female.
• Cultural schemas represent beliefs and
  expectations about what it means to be
  part of a particular group.
Mental Images
          Mental Images
• Visual Images -
  What Shakespeare
  called ‘the minds
• How do we measure
  it? One way is to
  see how long it
  takes a subject to
  mentally rotate an
                         They occur in a mental
                       Small ones contains
  image.                 “space” of a fixed size.
                       less detail than larger
Sound can be an image too.
    Reasoning and Creativity
• Reasoning - that powerful mental process
  that involves operating on information and
  coming to conclusions.
• Formal Reasoning - algorithm
  – Deductive reasoning - a form of reasoning in
    which a conclusion follows necessarily form a set
    of premises. If the premises are true the
    conclusion must be true.
  – Inductive reasoning - A form of reasoning in which
    the premises provide support for a conclusion, but
    it could still be false.
   Reasoning and Creativity
• Informal Reasoning      Utilizes
  – Algorithms and logical reasoning cannot
    solve every kind of problem.
  – In some cases a variety of approaches,
    viewpoints and possible solutions may
    present themselves.
  – In some cases the information may be
    incomplete, conflicting or contradictory.
       Dialectical Reasoning
• Dialectical reasoning is a process in
  which opposing facts or ideas are
  weighed and compared with the goal of
  determining the best solution or to
  resolving differences.
“up and back between contradictory lines
  of reasoning, using each to critically
  cross-examine the other.” Richard Paul
 (1984) Philosopher.
     Creative Thinking

You must use no more than 4 lines to connect all
  Copy the diagram on a piece of
the dots without removing your pencil from the
  Jean Piaget

Stages of Intellectual
Key Terms in Piaget’s Theory
• Assimilation - what you do when you fit
  new information into your present
  knowledge and beliefs (schemas)
Key Terms in Piaget’s Theory
• Accommodation - what you do when, as
  a result of undeniable new information,
  you must change or modify your
  existing schemas.
     Stages of Development
                           • 1. Sensorimotor stage
• Discussion Piaget's        (birth - 2 years old)--The
  theory identifies four     child, through physical
                             interaction with his or
  developmental              her environment, builds
  stages and the             a set of concepts about
  processes by which         reality and how it works.
  children progress          This is the stage where
                             a child does not know
  through them. The          that physical objects
  four stages are:           remain in existence
                             even when out of sight
                             (object permanence).
     Stages of Development
                         • 3. Concrete operations
• 2. Preoperational        (ages 7-11)--As physical
                           experience accumulates,
  stage (ages 2-7)--       the child starts to
  The child is not yet     conceptualize, creating
  able to                  logical structures that
  conceptualize            explain his or her physical
                           experiences. Abstract
  abstractly and           problem solving is also
  needs concrete           possible at this stage. For
  physical situations.     example, arithmetic
                           equations can be solved
                           with numbers, not just with
              Piaget’s Stages
• 4. Formal operations
  (beginning at ages 11-
  15)--By this point, the
  child's cognitive
  structures are like those
  of an adult and include
  conceptual reasoning.
Stages in Table Form
Beyond Piaget: How Adults Think

•   Where do you stand on the issue of
    genetic engineering?
•   How safe do you consider food
•   Is the news media objective?
•   What causes terrorism?
   How do adults respond to
      these questions?
• Reflective judgment - often called
  critical thinking - the ability to question
  assumptions, evaluate evidence, relate
  that evidence to a theory or opinion,
  consider alternative interpretations, and
  reach conclusions that can be defended
  reasonably or plausibly while being
  ready to reassess those conclusions
  based on new evidence.
• King and Kitchener studies these
  questions and found the following:
  – There are seven cognitive stages on the
    way to reflective thought.
  – At each stage different assumptions about
    how things are known and use different
    ways of justifying their beliefs.
  – Each stage builds on the skills of the prior
                                    Think logically?
  Reason Barriers to Reasoning       What’s that?
      “Although most people have the
      capacity to think logically, reason
      dialectically, and make judgments
      reflectively, it is abundantly clear
      that they don’t always do so”

                 Make judgments reflectively?
        Various Biases
• The Hindsight Bias - aka the “knew it all
  along” bias - with the information based
  on hindsight they see the outcome as
  inevitable and over estimate the
  probability they could have predicted
  the outcome.
• Potential example of the hindsight bias
  is the predictability of September 11,
           Various Biases
•   Avoidance of Loss - we all try to avoid
    or minimize the risk in making
           •• Make a choice: There is a
              Make a choice: You have
              available a is likely in which 400
              disease thatprogram to kill 600
              people Would you prefer a
              people. will definitely die and a
              program in which there is save
              program that will definitely a 1/3
              probability or one that has and
              200 people of nobody dying a 1/3a
              probability of saving all 600 and a
              2/3’s probability that all 600 will
              die. Which of saving none?
              2/3 chance to you choose?
               Various Biases
       The Availability Heuristic - the tendency
•      to judge the the Improbable the
    Exaggeratingprobability of an event-by how
       easy it is to think of examples or instances.
    inclination to exaggerate the probability
    of very rare events.
                                         This explains why
                                         so many people
                                         buy lottery tickets
                                         or buy insurance
                                         before a flight.
        Biases Continues
   If a card has a vowel on one side,
• Confirmation Bias - the tendency to
   then has an even number on
  noticeitand accept evidence thatthe
   other side. Which two cards do you
  confirms what we already believe and
   need or reject information that
  ignoreto turn over to find out?
  disconfirms our ideas.
Cognitive Consistency
           • Confirmation bias
             can be helpful in that
             we don’t need to
             continually change
             our minds.
           • The downside is it
             can create
   Motivating Conditions to Reduce
1. When you need to justify a choice or
   decision that you freely made. (buyers
2. When your actions violate your self-concept.
   (self should be consistent across situations)
3. When you put a lot of effort into a decision,
   only to find the results less than you hoped
   for. (leads to justification of effort)

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