Thinking and Language by MikeJenny


									Thinking and Language

   I Think; therefore I am.

I Talk; therefore I am ignored.
      Thinking and Language
• Thinking involves processing information
  using mental representations such as
  creating and organizing mental images
  and critically analyzing their meaning.
  There are various kinds of critical thinking,
  wherein we consciously direct our mental
  processes toward goals such as
  reasoning, solving problems and making
     Thinking and Language
• The Brain
           Types of Thinking
• Analysis: Breaking large complex concepts into
  smaller and simpler forms; break down wholes
  to parts
• Synthesis: Combining and integrating two or
  more processes or concepts into a more
  complex form; put parts together into wholes
• Divergent Thinking: Generating a number of
  diverse ideas or alternative solutions to a
• Convergent Thinking: Taking many ideas and
  converging them into a single idea or answer to
  a problem
• Often the goal is problem-solving, in which
  mental processes are used to overcome
  obstacles to arrive at a solution. This
  usually involves reasoning, drawing
  conclusions from evidence and judgment
  and decision-making wherein we evaluate
  various possibilities and choose the most
  suitable option.
            Problem Solving
• When we face a mental challenge in which there
  is a goal to overcome obstacles, we are
  engaging in problem-solving. Generally we use
  a common method of problem-solving. We 1)
  identify the problem, 2) define the problem, 3)
  explore possible plans or strategies 4) choose a
  strategy 5) utilize resources to act on the chosen
  plan 6) monitor the problem-solving process and
  7) evaluate the solution.
Two types of thinking
           Problem Solving
• If it is a well-structured problem, there is
  usually a clear path to find a solution. With
  ill-structured problems, often called
  "insight problems", no easy solution arises
  and we generally have to think a lot about
  the problem until we have a sudden insight
  and the solution becomes clear to us.
            Problem Solving
• In well-structured problem-solving, we generally
  use one of two kinds of strategies:
• Heuristics – informal, speculative, intuitive
  mental shortcuts such as trial and error or using
  strategies that worked on similar problems; one
  selectively tests solutions most likely to be
  correct – can be helpful and are quicker, but do
  not guarantee they will lead to a solution
           Problem Solving
• Algorithms – formal, step by step
  strategies to lead to a solution, such as
  repeating a series of steps to balance a
  checkbook or solve a math problem;
  however many problems do not have
  algorithms that generate solutions
            Problem Solving
• Ill-structured problems require insight to see the
  problem in a new way. You cannot solve them
  with clever algorithms but must develop a whole
  new strategy. Some take the "nothing special
  view" of insight, believing it is merely an
  extension of ordinary perceiving, recognizing,
  learning and conceiving. The "three-process
  view" contends that insight occurs when people
  selectively encode relevant information,
  compare relationships between old and new
  information and selectively combine old and new
  relevant information to solve problems.
           Problem Solving
• Productive thinking, typical of creative
  people, involves novel combinations of
  ideas and insights. Reproductive thinking
  uses existing ideas and associations
  between those ideas. Creative people
  generate new ideas and insights that do
  not rely on simply making use of what
  already exists. Often insights come when
  we free ourselves of assumptions that
  impede our solving the problems.
           Problem Solving
• Some of these problematic assumptions
• Mental Sets: old ways of thinking, existing
  models, that become frames of mind that
  blind us to a new strategy.
           Problem Solving
• Functional Fixedness: inability to see how
  something could be used in a novel or
  alternative way to solve a problem
Problem Solving
           Problem Solving
• Confirmation Bias: the tendency to
  selectively seek and choose information
  that support our bias and to ignore other
Problem Solving
           Problem Solving
• Irrelevant Information: tendency to include
  too much information that does not relate
  to the problem.
Irrelevant Information
           Problem Solving
• Negative Transfer: the carryover from prior
  experience with seemingly similar
  problems that impedes thinking in new
            Problem Solving
• Cognitive psychologists have also developed
  understanding of two positive influences on
  problem solving including:
• Positive Transfer: the facilitation of problem-
  solving by having solved similar problems
• Incubation: the facilitation of problem-solving
  through putting aside the problem after intense
  scrutiny so that new insights can emerge
• Expertise and knowledge in an area also add to
  problem-solving capabilities as experts know
  more and can organize the information more
Judgment and Decision-Making
• Judgment and Decision-Making are
  cognitive processes we use to evaluate
  numerous alternatives so we may select
  the best option. Our decisions are often
  based on problematic thinking strategies
  that include personal biases and mental
  shortcuts that impede our making ideal
  decisions in our lives.
Judgment and Decision-Making
     Strategies that hinder good
• Bounded Rationality: Humans by nature
  are not always rational, but bounded by
  limited rationality due to our often irrational
  and emotional nature.
• Satisfying: Often we choose the first
  acceptable, satisfactory, alternative rather
  than consider all the possibilities.
      Strategies that hinder good
• Elimination by Aspects: When faced with a great
  number of alternatives, we often focus on one or
  two aspects rather than all options available.
• Heuristics, mental shortcuts, and Personal
  Biases of Judgment also limit and distort our
  ability to make good rational decisions. We tend
  to use mental shortcuts and personal biases that
  distort and limit our abilities to make sound
      Thinking problems include:

• The Availability Heuristic: cognitive shortcut that
  relies on what comes to mind easily, a quick
  answer that may not include alternatives
• Representativeness: assumption that judgments
  made based on a typical member of a category
  will be true for all members of the category
• Overconfidence: being overly trustful of our own
  skills, knowledge or judgment
 The Formal Process of Reasoning
• Reasoning is a formal process wherein we draw
  conclusions based on evidence. Two distinct
  types are:
• Inductive Reasoning – proceeds from specific
  facts or observations and leads to a probable
  general conclusion that explains the facts
• Deductive Reasoning – proceeds from general
  statements to a probable specific conclusion
The Formal Process of Reasoning
• Infants spontaneously create speech sounds
  and begin cooing, making phoneme sounds
  heard in all languages. They begin babbling,
  using repetitive, rhythmic speech including their
  own language phonemes around 4 months of
  age. They begin holophrastic speech, one word
  communication and move around 18 months to
  telegraphic speech, short sentences resembling
  a short telegram, using content words to convey
  meaning with few function words.
• Semantics is the study of meanings of words in
  a language. Linguistic meanings take two forms:
• Denotation – the strict dictionary definition of a
  word and
• Connotation – the emotional overtone or
  nonexplicit meaning understood by how a word
  is used
• Syntax is the study of language structure, how
  words are put together in a particular order to
  create meaningful sentences. Grammar is the
  study of the regular patterns of language use.
• Pragmatics is the study of how people use language.
  Sociolinguistics studies how people use language in
  social interaction.
• The linguistic-relativity hypothesis proposes that different
  languages cause people to think and perceive the world
  differently. Cross-cultural studies of languages have also
  found linguistic universals, characteristic patterns found
  in all languages. Others study bilinguals, people who can
  speak two languages, to see if bilinguals think differently
  from people who speak one language. Cognitive
  psychology is focusing a lot of research on the
  relationships between thought and language and how we
  use language in social interaction.
• Santa Fe Community College:

• From the Mind of Sweetwood

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