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Cognitive Psychology Exam 5

Terms in this set (79)

example of attribute substitution
-People often assume when making a judgment about a member of a category, that all instances of the category resemble the prototype for the category and that the prototype resembles each instance

Do you assume anything about someone if
you discover that he or she is a lawyer or an
If you hear an anecdote about a marathon
runner who has smoked for decades and is
perfectly healthy, does this mean that
smoking is safe?
The representativeness heuristic may lead us to believe that all lawyers or all engineers are homogeneous (a stereotype).
We assume that each individual member of a category has the traits we associate with the category overall.
The representativeness heuristic may lead us to
believe that smoking must be okay for your
health based on one example (anecdotal
evidence or "man who" stories).
We assume that what is true of one instance of
the category must be true of the category as a
-reasoning from one instance to the population.

Another example of the representativeness heuristic:
Participants watched videos of a "prison guard"
discussing his job (Hamill et al., 1980).
-One variable of the study was whether the guard was compassionate or contemptuous
-Another variable was whether the participants were told the guard was representative of all guards
-What did participants later conclude about prison guards in general?
-Participants were only affected by which video they had seen, not the instructions given
-Those who had seen the compassionate guard had positive views of guards in general, and those who had seen the contemptuous guard had negative views of guards in general
experiment in which participants were given base-rate information or both base rate and diagnostic information
-base-rate information: the individuals being
described were chosen randomly from a group
of 70 lawyers and 30 engineers (probability that
person described is a lawyer = .70)
-diagnostic information: an individual description suggestive of a prototypical lawyer or engineer, e.g., "likes carpentry, sailing, math puzzles, dislikes politics." (engineer)
-when provided only with the base-rate and no
diagnostic information, participants understood
the probabilities of a person from the group
being a lawyer or engineer
-when provided with both base-rate and diagnostic information, participants ignored the base rates and used only diagnostic information

base-rate with no diagnostic information = base rate (base rate is not neglected!)
base-rate and diagnostic information =
diagnostic information (base rate is neglected!)

-base-rate neglect is widespread and can be observed both in laboratory tasks and in many real-world judgments
example: testing a new drug to cure hepatitis
-does taking the drug covary with a better
medical outcome?
results: 70% of the patients taking the drug do recover from the illness (uninterpretable)
interpretation: we need to know the base rate
-how many are cured with no treatment?
-how many more are cured with treatment?

if a coin toss results in "heads" six times in a
row, what are the odds of getting "tails" the
seventh time?
-human judgement seems flawed
-cases where humans reason correctly
propose that people have two distinct ways of thinking about evidence that they encounter
-Reisberg uses neutral terms:
-System 1 refers to thinking that is fast, automatic, and uses heuristics
-System 2 refers to thinking that is slower, effortful, and more likely to be correct
-others have described the systems differently:
System 1: intuition, association-driven thought
System 2: reasoning, rule-governed thought
-students with higher IQ and SAT scores employ
system 2 more often (working memory capacity
and ability to inhibit automatic mental habits)
-more sensitive to base rates, less influenced by man who stories, better judges of covariation; critical thinking- evaluating sources, understanding sample size

-whether System 1 or System 2 is used depends
on the context of the decision:
-how much time is available for the decision?
-how much attention and working memory are
-and how the problem is presented:
-what format are the data in? ()
-are statistical concepts primed?
-for sports, most people consider statistics
-in other situations, e.g., job interviews, they may not consider the effects of sample size
-the presentation of a problem, including data format, plays a role in determining whether base rates will be used
-in Problem A, students believe the statistics do not apply to them; they are in the other 50%
-in Problem B, students can see how the base rates
apply to their own driving

-background knowledge increases the likelihood that participants will pay attention to base rates.
-for instance, when predicting whether a particular student will pass an exam, participants do pay attention to the base-rate information that only 30% of students pass the exam

-presenting data as frequencies rather than as
percentages or proportions increases use of base rates
-possibly an evolutionary trait because sensitivity to frequency was important for survival
-maybe presenting "70 out of 100 students fail"
draws attention to consideration of the larger sample

-training can influence the likelihood of reasoning with System 2
-for instance, participants can be trained that
large samples of data are more reliable than
small samples
-taking a statistics class also improves
reasoning when sample size is important
-learning to evaluate sources and think
critically about evidence are primary goals of
higher education
another reason why some versions of the four-card
problem are more difficult than others is
that some "ifs" identify a:
necessary condition
"If Jacob passed his driver's test, then it's legal for him to drive."

sufficient condition
"If Solomon is eligible for jury duty, then he is
at least 18 years old."

-a necessary condition for some state of affairs
is a condition that must be satisfied in order
for that state of affairs to be true.
X is a necessary condition for Y means it is
impossible to have Y without X
-but X need not be the only thing that is
necessary for that state of affairs (Y) to be true
example 1: In order to get into grad school,
you must apply.
You cannot get in to grad school if you do not
apply, therefore, applying is a necessary
However, applying is not sufficient to get in to
grad school. There are a number of other
conditions that must be met (good grades, GRE
scores, LORs)
example 2: If Jacob passed his driver's test,
then it's legal for him to drive.
Jacob must have a current license in the state of
his permanent residence.
If he passed the test in New Hampshire in 2006,
but has lived in Pennsylvania for the past 5
years without applying for PA license, it is NOT
legal for him to drive

A sufficient condition for some state of affairs
is a condition that, if satisfied, guarantees
that state of affairs to be true.
If you have a 99% average in your online
English class, you will get an A.
If an entity is human, it is a mammal.
If you are eligible for jury duty, you are 18 or
problem-solver asks at each step how the current state can be made more similar to the goal state, using available operators
-typically results in breaking the problem into smaller subproblems, each with its own goal (subgoals)
example: I want to be an attorney (get good grades in college, study for the LSAT, apply to law schools, graduate, pass the bar exam)

-means-end analysis in reverse- asking how the goal state can be made similar to the current state (working backward from the goal)

what happens when you work backward on this
what are the critical pieces of information?

-mental imagery can also help in problem solving
example: the bookworm problem- by visualizing the problem, it becomes clear that the bookworm does not actually need to chew through either volume A or volume Z

analogy with previously solved problem
example: tumor problem; story should help you realize, by analogy, how to solve the tumor problem
-seeing the analogies is the important part

-in many cases, participants fail to map aspects
of one problem to the other and only benefit
when the experimenter points out the similarity
-underscores the importance of getting beyond superficial features of a problem (surface structure) and to think about the underlying logic (deep structure)

example: "jealous husbands" problem
People focus on the surface characteristics
3 jealous husbands
3 wives
1 boat
They don't realize that the deep structure (odd number of
agents with constraints on who can safely travel together
and how many can travel at once) is the same for both
5 hobbits
5 orcs
1 boat
why does this happen?
-you're likely to search your memory for what you know about jealous husbands not what you know about transit problems with passenger constraints
Experience and expertise matter
Comprehending the deep structure allows the expert to
focus more on broad strategies without getting bogged
down in the details
attribution substitution- example (type of question on exam, what is this example of?)
availability heuristic- comes to mind easily, so you think it is more common (6 or 12 examples of being assertive; 6- more assertive b/c came to mind easier); car crash, airplane crash portrayed in media more often so comes to mind more easily
representitiveness heuristic- examples of a relevant category; films of the guard (compassionate vs. mean; 4 groups- compassionate and representative OR atypical, mean and representative OR atypical)
-regardless of instructions, film influenced them; people who saw compassionate guard thought guards in general were compassionate and vice versa (what you see influences judgement)
-heuristics- strategies that improve efficiency at risk of accuracy
Gambler's fallacy- next one has to be a winner, incorrect, still the same probability
covariation- like correlation, positive or negative, one pattern covaries with other pattern of data
-examples of positive and negative covariation (go in same or opposite directions)
-illusory covariation- see things as linked even though they are not, leads to stereotypes and prejuduce
-Rorschach experiment- made up patterns and patients; showed to novices and experts; both saw patterns where there were not (illusory covariation); why- preexisting theories about how data will covary; true for BOTH
-base rate info- broad likelihood of particular event happening
-diagnostic info- descriptive info about members of category or...
-base rate AND diagnostic, pay attention to diagnostic
-do better with FREQUENCIES rather than probabilities
-sample size- can apply in particular categories: people and birds; more likely to draw conclusion on elements with less cases than people, birds
-dual-process model- system 1 vs. system 2- one is faster (automatic and easy), other is slower (more accurate, more effortful)
-inductive vs deductive reasoning- begins w/ specific facts and draws broad conclusion (increase- small facts to large general conclusion)
-belief perseverance- shown specific contradictory evidence, but belief persists
-suicide note study; told after study that it was random, but belief remained
-sylogisms- definition, example
-utility theory- formula and apply it; product of probability of outcome and utility of outcome

-problem solving heuristic- do not have to go through every option
-hill-climbing- go directly toward goal; evidence- is not possible, slows people down and confuses them
-working backward- water lily problem
-mapping- correspondence b/w surface features of two problems
-look at deep structure
-formally identical problem with different thing or hobbits and orcs (deep structure same with same of different surface level; do better with Hobbits and Orcs, same surface level)
-memorizing problems won't help you solve them