General Psychology - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – General Psychology PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 80d92f-OGQyZ


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

General Psychology


General Psychology No animation. Instructor: belief perseverance might sound like confirmation bias to some students. They both sound like not being open minded. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:16
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 39
Provided by: HSU65
Learn more at:


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: General Psychology

General Psychology
(No Transcript)
  • James 122
  • Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive
    yourselves. Do what it says.

Thinking, a.k.a. Cognition
  • Cognition refers to mental activities and
    processes associated with thinking, knowing,
    remembering, and communicating information.
  • Cognition can include reasoning, judgment, and
    assembling new information into knowledge.
  • Cognition also supports these other psychological
    processes attention, emotion, consciousness,
    perception, learning, memory, language, mental
    health, and social interaction. (Metacognition)

Pieces of Cognition Concepts
A concept can be represented and communicated by
an image, or by a word such as chair, party,
or democracy.
A concept is a mental grouping of similar
objects, events, states, ideas, and/or people,
How do we form/learn concepts?
  • We think we form concepts by definitions. For
    example, we define a triangle as an object with
    three sides.
  • But is this how we actually form concepts?
  • Often, we form concepts by developing prototypes,
    that is, mental images of the best example of a

What does your prototype of the triangle look
Draw the triangle that you imagine that is, draw
your prototype of a triangle.
Conceptualizing a Chair
What is your definition of chair? What is your
prototype of chair? Which of these fit the
chair concept?
When Prototypes Fail Us
  • Prototypes fail us when examples stretch our
    definitions, as in considering whether a stool is
    a chair.
  • Prototypes fail us when the boundary between
    concepts is fuzzy, as in judging blue-green
    colors or computer-blended faces.
  • Prototypes fail us when examples contradict our
    prototypes, such as considering whether a whale
    is a mammal, or a penguin is a bird.

Problem Solving
Strategies for arriving at solutions include
Problem solving refers to the thinking we do in
order to answer a complex question or to figure
out how to resolve an unfavorable situation.
  • Trial and error involves trying various possible
    solutions, and if that fails, trying others.
  • When its useful perfecting an invention like
    the light bulb by trying a thousand filaments
  • When it fails when there is a clear solution but
    trial and error might miss it forever

trial and error
An algorithm is a step by step strategy for
solving a problem, methodically leading to a
specific solution.
A heuristic is a short-cut, step-saving thinking
strategy or principle which generates a solution
quickly (but possibly in error).
Insight refers to a sudden realization, a leap
forward in thinking, that leads to a solution.
Clarifying Problem Solving Examples
Wheres the apple juice? Do I look on every
shelf in the store, or do I search where there is
similar stuff?
To find a specific item in a supermarket
Trial and error
  • Wander around a supermarket randomly to find it.

Create a methodical path to make sure you check
every single aisle.
Check only related aisles.
Trial and Error vs. Algorithms
To solve a word jumble, you can use
  • Trial and error--randomly trying different
    combinations in no particular order
  • An algorithm (below)--carefully checking every
    single combination beginning with the letter C
    before moving on to a different starting letter.

1. C L O O Y S P H Y G
2. C O L O Y S P H Y G
3. C O O L Y S P H Y G
To solve a word jumble, you can try a heuristic.
The problem with using trial and error to solve a
word jumble is that there are 782,200
(10!/(2!2!)) different ways to combine those
letters. At least with the algorithm method, you
are sure to get through them all without counting
any of them twice.
  • However, it would help to use shortcuts/heuristics
    to reduce the options we need to try, such as
  • putting a Y at the end.
  • thinking about where the other Y could go.
  • trying the H preceded by C and S and P
    before trying other combinations.
  • speculating that with so few vowels, the Os
    will probably not be together.

1. C L O O Y S P H Y G
Algorithms Not Just Thoroughness
  • A father and a son are currently 40 and 10 when
    will the son be half the fathers age?
  • It might be tempting to use trial and error, but
    algebra gives us an algorithm, a single, certain,
    systematic path to the answer

x ½ (x 30) 2x x 30 x 30
Answer when the son is 30, the father will be is
Insight The Aha Moment
  • Insight and the Brain
  • In one study, participants monitored by fMRI and
    EEG were asked, which word will form a compound
    word with the words pine, crab, and sauce?
  • What the brains did along with the aha! of
    getting the answer
  • Insight refers to a sudden realization, a leap
    forward in thinking, that leads to a solution.
  • We say aha and feel a sense of satisfaction
    when an answer seems to pop into our minds.
  • We also may laugh joke punchlines rely on sudden
  1. extra frontal lobe activity
  2. experiencing the aha! moment and stating the
  3. a burst of activity in right temporal lobe (shown

Obstacles to Effective Problem Solving
  • There are certain tendencies in human cognition
    which make it more difficult to find correct
    solutions to problems.

Fixation/ mental set
Confirmation bias
Heuristics (which help solve problems quickly but
can lead to mistaken conclusions)
Confirmation Bias
  • Studying Confirmation Bias
  • Peter Wasons Selection Test
  • He gave the sequence of numbers 2, 4, 6.
  • He asked students to guess his rule, and ask him
    whether other certain numbers fit the rule.
  • The problem was not the students theory, but
    their strategy. If you think the rule is even
    numbers, what numbers would you need to ask him
    about to TEST rather that CONFIRM your theory?
  • Confirmation bias refers to our tendency to
    search for information which confirms our current
    theory, disregarding contradictory evidence.
  • Natural tendency If Im right, then fact C
    will confirm my theory. I must look for fact C.
  • Scientific practice If Im right, then fact D
    will disprove or at least disconfirm my theory. I
    must search for fact D.

Confirmation Bias Test Research
  • The ultimate test of our mastery of confirmation
    bias in psychology might be our ability to avoid
    confirmation bias in research.
  • Kids who
  • eat a lot of sugar.
  • do not eat candy.
  • have ADHD.
  • do not have ADHD.

If we believe that overeating candy is the main
cause of ADHD symptoms, what types of people do
we need to look for to really test our theory?
Other Problem-Solving Habits
Mental set The tendency to approach problems
using a mindset (procedures and methods) that has
worked previously.
Fixation The tendency to get stuck in one way of
thinking an inability to see a problem from a
new perspective.
Mental Set Demonstration
What is next in these sequences?
O,T,T,F,F, S, S (numbers) J,F,M,A,M, J, J
(months) S,M,T,N,U,O,V,P,W,Q,X,R W, I, N, I, T, S
  • O, T, T, F, F, ___, ___,
  • J, F, M, A, M, ___, ___,
  • S, M, T, N, U, ___, ___,
  • W, I, N, I, T, ___?

If you are primed to use a certain
problem-solving strategy, you can form a mental
set that makes it harder to solve a new, similar
  • Problem how can you arrange six matches to form
    four equilateral triangles?
  • When people struggle with this, what fixation is
    going on?
  • Hint what assumption might be fixed in their

Our mental set, perhaps from our past experiences
with matchsticks, assumes we are arranging them
in two dimensions.
The Nine-dot Problem
Use four straight lines to connect the nine dots.
If you already know the solution, let others
figure it out.
The Nine-dot Problem Solution
Solving this requires escaping fixation by
thinking outside the box. Literally.
The Nine-dot Problem
Can you use only THREE straight lines to connect
these nine dots?
  • Making Quick Judgments and Decisions
  • As with problem-solving, there are mental habits
    which make intuition-style judgments simpler and
    quicker, but may lead to errors
  • the availability heuristic
  • overconfidence
  • belief perseverance
  • framing
  • The human cognitive style of making judgments and
    decisions is more efficient than logical.
  • The quick-acting, automatic source of ideas we
    use instead of careful reasoning is known as
  • Using intuition to make a decision has some
    downsides, as well soon see, but it also has
    some benefits.

All of these habits enable us to quickly make
hundreds of small gut decisions each day
without bothering with systematic reasoning.
The Availability Heuristic
We use the availability heuristic when we
estimate the likelihood of an event based on how
much it stands out in our mind, that is, how much
its available as a mental reference.
  • Example thinking that winning at a slot machine
    is likely because we vividly recall the times
    weve won before (thanks to bells, lights, and
    flowing coins)

Weighted Attention Why We Fear the Wrong Things
  • The availability heuristic misleads us about
    whether a plane ride or a motorcycle ride is more
  • Of the many experiences available to us in
    forming our judgments, we tend to give more
    weight to some experiences than others.
  • We know of both plane crashes and motorcycle
    crashes, but the plane crashes scare us more, and
    stand out more in the news and in memory.
  • Why do some dangers stand out more?
  • Perhaps biology or natural selection predisposes
    us to fear heights, lack of control, and
    confinement all of which are part of our image
    of a plane ride.

The Overconfidence Error
Overconfidence in judgments refers to our
tendency to be more confident than correct. We
overestimate the accuracy of our estimates,
predictions, and knowledge.
  • Examples
  • thinking you can put off work and still get it
    done well
  • thinking you have test material mastered when you
    scan it and it feels familiar.

Confirmation Bias vs. Belief Perseverance
Definition not bothering to seek out information
that contradicts your ideas
Definition holding on to your ideas over time,
and actively rejecting information that
contradicts your ideas
Benefits and downsides enables quick solutions,
but misses finding out when first guesses are
Benefits and downsides less internal mental
conflict, but more social conflict
Framing is the focus, emphasis, or perspective
that affects our judgments and decisions. Example
is meat healthy for you
75 Lean
25 Fat
Do you want to go to a store today if prices are
everyday low prices?
an average of 6 off?
20 percent off?
Truthtellers and Liars
  • A princess visits an island inhabited by two
    tribes. Members of one tribe always tell the
    truth, and members of the other tribe always lie.
  • The princess comes to a fork in the road. She
    needs to know which road leads to the castle so
    as to avoid the fire-breathing dragon and rescue
    the prince from the wizard holding him captive in
    the castle. (Although the princess doesn't know
    it, the south road leads to the castle and the
    north road leads to the dragon.)
  • Standing at this fork in the road is a member of
    each tribe, but the princess can't tell which
    tribe each belongs to. What question should she
    ask to find the road to the castle?

Truthtellers and Liars
  • "If I asked a member of the tribe you don't
    belong to which road I should take to get to the
    castle, what would he say?"
  • If we ask a truthteller, the response will be
    "He would say to take the north road." The road
    to the castle is the south road so the liar will
    tell us to take the north road, and the
    truthteller will faithfully report this to us.
  • If we ask a liar, the response will be "He would
    say to take the north road." The road to the
    castle is the south road and the truthteller will
    tell us to take the south road, but the liar will
    not report this faithfully to us - he will say
    the opposite.

The "Aha!" Experience
  • insult injury
  • R
  • Y
  • S
  • eeeeeeeeeec
  • you cont ol r

The "Aha!" Experience
  • LOV
  • I'M you
  • chawhowhorge Math The
  • ATfrankfrankRA
  • CirKEEPcle ban ana

The "Aha!" Experience
  • Adding Insult to Injury
  • Syrup
  • Tennessee
  • You are out of control
  • Endless Love
  • Im bigger than you
  • Whos in Charge
  • The aftermath
  • Franks in atra (Frank Sinatra)
  • Keep in shape
  • Banana Split

Problem Solving
  • A wealthy desert dweller whose caravan is
    approaching an oasis after a long, hot day. He
    says to two of his lieutenants, To the one of
    you whose horse gets to the oasis last, Ill give
    this camel laden with gold. Immediately they
    both stop. By the time the rear guard of the
    caravan reaches the two lieutenants, they have
    dismounted their horses and each is waiting on
    the sand for the other to become so hot and
    thirsty that getting to the oasis cannot be
    resisted. Finally, they tell the guard their
    dilemma and ask for help. He says two words to
    them, whereupon the lieutenants jump onto the
    horses and race toward the oasis. What did the
    guard tell them?

Human Intuition
  • A man bought a horse for 60 and sold it for 70.
    Then he bought the same horse back for 80 and
    again sold it, for 90. How much money did he
    make in the horse business?

Mental Set
  • Assume that youre the engineer of a passenger
    train. At the first station, 20 passengers get
    on. At the next station, 5 passengers get off and
    15 get on. At the next station, 10 passengers get
    off and 12 get on. At the next station, 7 get off
    and 10 get on. At the next station, 20 passengers
    get off and 5 get on. At the next station, 8
    passengers get off and 3 get on.

Mental Set
  • 1. How old is the engineer of the train?
  • 2. How many stations were there?
  • 3. How many passengers are left on the train?
  • 4. Altogether, how many passengers have gotten
    off the train since the first station?
  • 5. Altogether, how many passengers have gotten
    onto the train anywhere along its route?