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Thinking and Intelligence Key Question: What Are the Components of Thought?
Core Concept: Thinking is a cognitive process in which the brain uses information from the senses, emotions, and memory to create and manipulate mental representations, such as
concepts, images, schemas, and scripts.
Key Question: Cognitive process involved in forming a new mental representation by manipulating available information?
Concepts – Mental representations of categories of items or ideas, based on experience
v Natural concepts represent objects and events v Artificial concepts are defined by rules
We organize much of our declarative memories into concept hierarchies
Imagery and Cognitive Maps
v Visual imagery adds complexity and richness to our thinking v Thinking with sensory imagery can be useful in problem solving v Cognitive maps-a cognitive representation of a visual concept
Frontal Lobe Control
Frontal Lobe is particularly important for coordinating brain activity by:
v Keeping track of the episode (situation) v Understanding the context (meaning) v Responding to a specific stimulus
Frontal lobe is also involved in intuition- making judgments without consciously reasoning
Schemas and Scripts Help you Know What to Expect
Schema – A cluster of related concepts that provides a framework for thinking about objects, events, or ideas
Key Question: What Abilities Do Good Thinkers Possess?
Core Concept: Good thinkers not only have a repertoire of effective strategies, called algorithms and heuristics, they also know how to avoid the common impediments to problem solving and
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Good problem solvers are skilled at
v Identifying the problem v Selecting a strategy
Selecting a Strategy
v Problem-solving procedures or formulas v Guarantee a correct outcome if applied correctly (recipe)
v Cognitive strategies used as shortcuts to solve complex mental tasks v Do not guarantee a correct solution (rule of thumb)
Useful heuristics include:
Working backward Searching for analogies Breaking a big problem into smaller problems
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Obstacles to Problem Solving
Mental set –
Tendency to respond to a new problem in the manner used successfully for a previous problem
Functional fixedness –
Inability to perceive a new use for an object associated with a different purpose
Using unnecessary restrictions; Not thinking “outside the box”
Unscramble These Words
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raspe klsta nolem dlsco hsfle naorg egsta
The Nine-Dot Problem
Without lifting your pen from the page, can you connect all nine dots with only four lines?
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Judging and Making Decisions
Ignoring or finding fault with information that does not fit our opinions, and seeking information with which we agree
Tendency, after learning about an event, to believe that one could have predicted the event in advance
Faulty heuristic caused by basing (anchoring) an estimate on information appearing at the beginning of the problem
Faulty heuristic strategy based on presumption that, once something is categorized, it shares all features of other members in that category
Faulty heuristic strategy that comes from our tendency to judge probabilities of events by how readily examples come to mind
Tyranny of Choice
Too many choices can interfere with effective decision making, sometimes to the point of immobilizing us.
On Becoming a Creative Genius
What produces extraordinary creativity?
v Knowledge; expertise
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v Aptitude v Personality characteristics
§ Independence, intense interest in problem, willingness to restructure, preference for complexity, need for stimulating interaction
On Becoming an Expert
Differences between experts and novices:
v Knowledge and how it is organized -“tricks of the trade”
v Considerable practice Key Question: How is Intelligence Measured?
Core Concept: Intelligence testing has a history of controversy, but most psychologists now view intelligence as a normally distributed trait that can be measured by performance on a variety of
Founding of the Intelligence Test
1904, New French law required all children to attend school
Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon
v developed test to identify students needing remedial help v Measured current performance v Emphasized training and opportunity could affect intelligence
Key Question: How is Intelligence Measured?
Binet-Simon Test calculated a child’s mental age (MA) and compared it to his or her chronological age (CA)
MA: average age at which individuals achieve a particular score CA: number of years since birth (age)
Determined that remedial help was needed when one’s MA was two years behind one’s CA
Stanford and Binet’s test in America:
Testing became widespread for the assessment of Army recruits, immigrants, and schoolchildren The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale is the most respected of the new American tests of intelligence
v Now measured intelligence quotient (IQ) v IQ=(MA/CA)*100
Calculting IQs “on the Curve”
The original IQ calculation was abandoned in favor of standard scores based on the normal distribution
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Normal distribution – Bell-shaped curve describing the spread of a characteristic throughout a population
Normal range – Scores falling in (approximately) the middle two-thirds of a normal distribution
The Exceptional Child
Mental retardation –
Often conceived as representing the lower 2% of the IQ range
Often conceived as representing the upper 2% of the IQ range
Key Question: Is Intelligence One or Many Abilities?
Core Concept: Some psychologists believe that intelligence comprises one general factor, g, while others believe intelligence is a collection of distinct abilities.
Psychometric Theories of Intelligence
Spearman’s G Factor Cattell’s Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence Cognitive Theories of Intelligence
Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory Gardner’s Seven Intelligences
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Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory
Ability to cope with the environment, “street smarts”; also called contextual intelligence
Analytical Intelligence (Logical Reasoning) Ability to analyze problems and find correct answers, ability measured by most IQ tests
Form of intelligence that helps people see new relationships among concepts, involves insight and creativity
Gardner’s Seven Intelligences
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Linguistic Often measured on IQ tests with reading comprehension and vocabulary tests
Logical-Mathematical Often measured on IQ tests with analogies, math problems and logic problems
Spatial Ability to form mental images of objects and think about their relationships in space
Musical Ability to perceive and create patterns of rhythms and pitches
Bodily-Kinesthetic Ability for controlled movement and coordination
Interpersonal Ability to understand other people’s emotions, motives and actions
Intrapersonal Ability to know oneself and to develop a sense of identity
Gardner’s Three New Intelligences
Naturalistic intelligence Spiritual intelligence Existential intelligence
Cultural Definitions of Intelligence
Cross-cultural psychologists have shown that “intelligence” has different meanings in different cultures.
Intelligence and Animals
Animals are capable of intelligent behavior, often tied to particular biological niche
Language in non-humans at surprising level of sophistication
Key Question: How Do Psychologist Explain IQ Differences Among Groups?
Core Concept: While most psychologists agree that both heredity and environment affect intelligence, they disagree on the source of IQ differences among racial and social groups.
Hereditarian arguments maintain that intelligence is substantially influence by genetics
Environmental approaches argue that intelligence can be dramatically shaped by influences such as
Health Economics Education
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Heritability and Group Differences
Heritability – Amount of trait variation within a group that can be attributed to genetic differences
Research with twins and adopted children shows genetic influences on a wide range of attributes, including intelligence
Research has also shown that racial and class differences in IQ scores can be eliminated by environmental changes
v Adoption Studies v Social Class v Head Start