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Cognition - Thinking and Intelligence 2015

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Tania Young

on 9 October 2018

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Transcript of Cognition - Thinking and Intelligence 2015

Thinking and Intelligence

Cognitive psychology is a sub-discipline of psychology exploring internal mental processes. It is the study of how people perceive, remember, think, speak, and solve problems
How do we organize our thoughts?
How do we communicate with others?
How do we learn language?

thinking can be defined as mental activity that goes on in the brain when a person is organizing and attempting to understand information and communicating information to others
Cognition = Thinking

When people are thinking, they are not only aware of the information in the brain but they are also simultaneously making decisions about it, comparing it to other information, and using it to solve problems!
Mental images are defined as mental representations that stand for objects or events and have a picture-like quality
Mental images have many of the same properties of the actual perception of that object:
It takes longer to scan a mental image of large object just as it takes longer to scan an actual large object
Our brains are like super computers and they can process many pieces of information simultaneously - but how to organize all this information?
ideas that represent a class or category of objects, events or activities
we use concepts to think about objects or events without having to think about all the specific examples of the category:
Formal Concepts:
defined by specific and rigid rules or features
Superordinate Concept:
concepts of a very general form
i.e. Fruit
Basic Concept:
more specific, but can be further divided
i.e. apple
the most specific example of the concept
i.e. Granny Smith Apple
Subordinate Concept:
In pairs, think of as many concepts as possible: give superordinate, basic, and subordinate levels for each!
Natural Concepts
other concepts are more ambiguous and difficult to define
share a set of general, relatively loose characteristics rather than the clearly defined properties of a formal concept
natural concepts are fuzzy
What is a vehicle?
an example of a concept that closely matches the defining characteristics of a concept
What do you think of first when someone asks you about fruit? Animals? Birds?
Problem Solving and Decision Making
Problem Solving and Decision Making
process of cognition that occurs when a goal must be reached by thinking and behaving in certain ways
The Tower of Hanoi
Different Types of Problems:
Arrangement Problems:
Water jars: a person has three jars having the following capacities:
Transformation Problems
Jar B: 70ml
Jar C: 50ml
How can the person measure exactly 110 millilitres of water?
Jar A: 280ml
What number comes next in the series?

1 4 2 4 3 4 4 4 5 4 6 4 _
Problems of Inducing Structure
What number comes next in the series?

1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 _
What number comes next in the series?

1 11 21 1211 111221 _
Complete these analogies:
Baseball is to bat as tennis is to _____
Merchant is to sell as customer is to _____
5 types of Solutions
1. Trial and Error
aka Mechanical Solution
trying one solution after another until you find one that works
2. Algorithms
a rule that, if applied appropriately, guarantees a solution to a problem
e.g. Mathematical formulas
e.g. Library
3. Heuristics
An educated guess based on prior experience that helps to narrow down the possible solutions for a problem
a 'rule of thumb'
4. Means-End Analysis
the difference between the starting situation and the goal is determined and then steps are taken to reduce that difference
the solution to a problem just pops into your mind all of the sudden
Problems with Problem Solving
Common Barriers:
Functional Fixedness
a block to problem solving that comes from thinking about objects in terms of only their typical functions
i.e. only a screwdriver can be used to tighten (or loosen) a screw
Mental Set
the tendency for people to persist in using problem solving patterns that have worked for them in the past
Confirmation Bias
tendency to search for evidence that fits your beliefs while ignoring any evidence that does not fit into those beliefs
Cognition: Intelligence
Theories of Intelligence
G Factor
Binet's Mental Ability Test
and IQ
The Weschler Tests
The ability to learn
from one's experiences, acquire knowledge, and use resources effectively in adapting to new situations or solving problems
Binet decided that the key element to be tested was a child's mental age, or the average age at which children could successfully answer a particular level of questions
Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
a number representing a measure of intelligence, resulting from the division of one's mental age by one's chronological age and then multiplying that quotient by 100
IQ = MA/CA x 100

if a child who is 10 yrs old takes the test and scores a mental age of 15 (is able to answer the level of questions typical of a 15 yr old), the IQ would like this:

IQ = 15/10 x 100 = 150
Weschler developed tests for children and adults that have both a verbal and a performance (non-verbal) scale, as well as providing an overall score of intelligence
The degree to which a test actually measures what it's supposed to measure
It is vital for a test to be valid in order for the results to be accurately applied and interpreted
Other types of tests:
Achievement Tests:
a test designed to determine a person's level of knowledge in a given subject area
Aptitude Tests:
a test designed to predict a person's ability in a particular area or line of work
the tendency of a test to produce the same scores again and again each time it is given to the same people
given that the person has not changed, the test should consistently give the same results
refers to the process of giving the test to a large group of people that represent the kind of people for whom the test is designed
all test subjects would take the test under the same conditions
The scores from the standardization group would be called the norms, the standard against which all others who take the test would be compared
most tests follow a normal curve, or a distribution in which the scores are the greatest around the mean, or average, and become less and less the farther from the mean that they occur
number of scores
Weschler IQ score
IQ Tests and Cultural Bias
The biggest problem with trying to measure intelligence with a test that is based on an understanding of the world and its resources is that not everyone comes from the same 'world'
the Dove Counterbalance General Intelligence Test
What makes a good test?
g factor (general intelligence)
the ability to reason and solve problems
s factor (specific intelligence)
the ability to excel in certain areas such as music, business, or art
This theory is felt to be a bit over-simplified
Critics claim there is little scientific evidence that these are little more than different abilities - not necessarily the same thing as intelligence
Analytical Intelligence
ability to break problems down into component parts for problem solving
Creative Intelligence
ability to deal with new and different concepts and to come up with new ways of solving problems (divergent thinking)
Practical Intelligence
the ability to use information to get along in life (street smarts)
The Short Version!
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