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Thinking Textbook overview An alternative perspective

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1 Thinking Textbook overview An alternative perspective
Directed versus undirected thinking thinking and disorders of thinking An alternative perspective Regulatory function of thinking Integrating language, thinking and emotion

2 How can we observe thinking?
Textbook overview Groome: Thinking: "Self-controlled symbolic mental activity" How can we observe thinking?

3 Thinking and Action How do we know that John is thinking? Planning
We can observe the outcome Planning Thinking and Action or we can monitor his brain Execution

4 Thinking and Action - areas of the brain involved in planning and execution
Left cortex Right cortex Medial cortex Front Rear Rear Front

5 Textbook overview Emotion ?? (Goal) directed Un-directed
Groome: Thinking: "Self-controlled symbolic mental activity" (Goal) directed 1. Problem solving Gestalt theory Information processing theory 2. Reasoning Inductive, deductive, statistical, everyday Un-directed Creativity, imagery, dreaming, etc.

6 Disorders of Thinking: Dysexecutive Syndrome
Textbook overview Not inability to think! Groome (continued): Disorders of Thinking: Dysexecutive Syndrome no loss of ability, rationality, or intelligence loss of regulatory function

7 An alternative perspective
Regulatory function of thinking System to represent previous experience, monitor ongoing behaviour and potential new information Evidence Psychiatry (Barkley's theory of ADHD) Thinking subserves the executive function Self-regulation of behaviour and emotion Phylogeny (evolution of the human species) Thinking is a substitute for action (Pinker, Darwin) Ontogeny (child development) Thinking is internalized language (Vygotsky)

8 Vygotsky's theory of language
Language is self-controlled symbolic mental activity used for communication and behavioural regulation of others Thinking is fully internalized silent inner speech Developmental stages External speech Private speech ego-centric language used for self-regulation elliptical, telegraphic not whispering, but link between overt and covert speech Inner speech Verbal thought

9 Evolutionary perspective (Pinker 1997)
Thinking is an internalized substitute for trial and error behaviour allows testing possible future events without suffering the consequences allows our species to outsmart objects, plants, animals, and each other evolves more rapidly than defenses of other organisms Humans occupy a "cognitive niche" in the biological arms race

10 Psychiatry (Barkley, 1997) Executive function of cognition
biological basis is operation of inhibitory neural circuits that control overt behaviour behavioural inhibition makes it possible to internalize repertoirs that become mental strategies strategies are basis for cognitive abilities require working memory to operate E.g: Attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a deficit in behavioural inhibition resulting from malfunction of norepinephrine and / or dopamine circuits (but not an acquired disorder)

11 Barkley's model of the executive function
Behaviour repertoir Sensing Speech Affect Play Mental strategy Holding events in mind Internalization of speech Self-regulation of affect Analysis and synthesis of action inhibition Cognitive ability Bridge time Reflect upon and describe events Motivate oneself and delay reward Creativity, diversity, re-organization Cognitive process Working memory

12 References Barkley, R.A. (1997) ADHD and the Nature of Self Control. Guilford Press. Pinker, S. (1997) The Language Instinct. Penguin Books. Vygotsky, L. S. (1962) Thought and Language.MIT Press.

13 Goal-directed thinking (Groome)
1. Problem solving "A problem exists when a person has a goal and does not know how to reach it" (Duncker, 1945) Well-defined versus ill-defined problems Gestalt theory Information processing theory 2. Reasoning Inductive Deductive Statistical Everyday

14 Problem Solving Gestalt Theory Insight Reproductive thinking
A problem exists because of the way it is represented or perceived. Insight Restructuring or spontaneous reorganization shows that solution is a necessary part of the problem Reproductive thinking Rote application of previously rewarded responses Novelty arises only from random trial-and-error Productive thinking Re-structuring of problem situation produces novel solutions Obstacles to achieving insight Mental set, functional fixedness, previous experience, over-confidence

15 Problem Solving Information Processing Theory
Problem solving is a search through problem space Analysis into parts (not Gestalt) knowledge states operators that transform these application of these makes paths that link states state-action tree Problem space initial state, goal state, constraints, rules, instructions, etc. that define the problem Well-defined problems Representation of problem space Operators to create new states imPlementation of operators Evaluation of current state w.r.t. goal Ill-defined problems lack one or more of these

16 Problem Solving Information Processing (continued) Obstacles
Problem definition, size of problem space, mental capacity, knowledge, time Strategies (ways of solving) Random trial & error fails when many loops Algorithms recipes for problem solution never fail Heuristics short-cut strategies using limited resources success not guaranteed Change goal fails in well-defined problems and adversary problems

17 Examples of well-defined problems
Chess 10120 possible states (estimated age of solar system is only 1018 seconds) Tower of Hanoi shortest solution in 2n-1 moves 2 disks 3 moves 3 disks 7 moves 5 disks 31 moves 64 disks ??? moves Shortest solution in 8,446,744,073,709,551,616 moves Would require 584,942,417,355 years at rate of one move per second - ie. 580 billion years (estimated age of the universe is 14 billion years)

18 Role of knowledge in problem solving
analogy previous experience expertise mental set functional fixedness

19 Heuristics Problem reduction Means-end analysis select sub-goals that are nearer to main goal fails when move away from goal required Difference reduction (hill climbing) fails when there are local minima or maxima Working backwards create sequence of sub-goals from main goal fails when too many paths towards goal

20 possible sub-goal "clear large disk"
State-action tree: Tower of Hanoi, 3-disks initial state loop possible sub-goal "clear large disk" goal state

21 Thinking with rules, not content
Reasoning Thinking with rules, not content E.g: Given that a) No students are stupid b) No stupid people eat pizza What do you conclude? "No students eat pizza" Not valid "Nothing" Is valid Formal logic

22 How people connect propositions and draw conclusions
Reasoning How people connect propositions and draw conclusions Pragmatic reasoning schema bound (scripts, obligations) content based (derived from experience) incomplete (experience is limited) expressed in natural language validity equates with truth probabilistic conclusions (not certain) Formal logic bound by normative rules abstract, not based on content complete, closed system, all information given expressed in formal language validity does not equate with truth but with logical necessity validity is independent of truth of the propositions if the reasoning is valid and the propositions are true, then the truth of the conclusion is a logical certainty E.g. Inductive reasoning E.g. Deductive reasoning

23 Reasoning Inductive Deductive
From particular to particular, or particular to general Accumulation of confirmatory evidence leads to general propositions that are probably true Empirical generalizations that are more uncertain than instances of them Deductive From general to general, or general to particular Finding a conclusion that necessarily follows by rules of formal logic from what is given (premises) Syllogisms Drawing conclusions about category membership of items, or relations between items given in pairs of premises Conditional reasoning Inference from propositions about antecedents and consequences

24 Reasoning (continued)
Hypothetico-deductive reasoning Certainty by falsification Basis of scientific method, legal argument, forensic investigation Empirically testing truth of theories Combines inductive with deductive logic for greater certainty By induction, formulate a general hypothesis,or a rule Deduce a particular proposition from this Obtain empirical evidence The hypothesis is probably true if all evidence is consistent with it The hypothesis is certainly false if any contradictory evidence is found

25 Hypothetico-deductive (continued)
Examples of laboratory studies Wason four-card problem Bruner concept attainment task Many people tested show confirmation bias, fail to consider potentially falsifying evidence Research for the way in which people tackle particular problems has led to questions about the diversity of strategies employed by people

26 Taming chance to reconcile
Statistics Taming chance to reconcile Fortuna and Sapientia

27 Reasoning (continued)
Statistical reasoning Managing risk Algorithms Probability calculations make statistically independent events predictable in the long run use mathematical models based on all possible outcomes Heuristics When reasoning about future events we evaluate the likelihood by constructing mental models that are representative of the present. The availability of such models in terms of imaginability and retrievability does not reflect the likelihood of such scenarios in reality, and hence our estimates are biased (Kahneman & Tversky) Availability judge likelihood on basis of what is remembered memory is selective: significant events noted, insignificant events ignored overestimate likelihood of significant events

28 Reasoning (continued)
Heuristics (continued) Representativeness judge likelihood on basis of similarity to a mental model typical instances are judged more likely than untypical ones bias due to limited experience of what is typical Example: Lottery Phenomenon Most people are irrational, because they voluntarily participate in a game with a negative expected outcome - odds of losing are greater than odds of winning (Hill & Williamson, 1998) Availability: Media favour winners - millions of losers never shown "Keep playing and you'll win sooner or later" (Gambler's fallacy) Long sequence of losses believed to be untypical, but losing and winning balance only in the very long run "Choose an even spread", "avoid adjacent numbers", "study pattern of previous draws", but random events have no pattern

29 Textbook overview (continued)
B. Disorders of Thinking Dysexecutive Syndrome no loss of ability, rationality, or intelligence loss of regulatory function Cognitive deficits Working memory and forebrain Supervisory attentional system

30 Neuropsychology of Freud's personality theory
Original 1933 diagram (colour added) Functions mapped according to Solms (2004)

31 Disorders of thinking Result of frontal lobe lesions
Inability to direct and sustain attention Distractibility Utilization behaviour Inability to suppress most salient response Perseveration Inability to utilize feedback Inability to suppress previously incorrect response Disinhibition Think of bizarre hypotheses, but do not disconfirm Generate intentions (markers) but not spontaneously reactivated later Cognitive deficits Any or all of the following Attention Abstraction Estimation Strategy formation Everyday planning Personality change Deficits in emotional and social decision making De-regulation of affect Frontal lobe syndrome

32 Disorders of thinking Working memory and the forebrain
Baddeley's theory Sensory information (visual, auditory) is held online Associated actions are planned and released at appropriate time Goldman-Rakic Pre-frontal lesions in monkeys produce selective impairment of delayed working memory task Object permanence in young infants Immature frontal lobes (1 year) Delayed-response deficits and perseveration

33 Disorders of thinking Supervisory attentional system (SAS)
Two cognitive modes monitored by SAS Routine, automatic, schema-driven Novel, difficult or dangerous, error monitoring, decision making Deficits result in behaviour dominated by schemas that are triggered by irrelevant sensory input

34 The End

35 Deductive reasoning examples
Invalid Syllogism IF given: All men are mortal and: All women are mortal Therefore: All men are women Invalid Conditional If P then Q Affirm: Not P Therefore: Not Q Affirm: Q Therefore: P Valid Syllogism IF given: All men are mortal and: Socrates is a man Therefore: Socrates is mortal Valid conditional If P then Q Affirm: P Therefore: Q Affirm: Not Q Therefore: Not P

36 Deductive reasoning: Using mental models
Consider all possible worlds. If a contrary example can be found then the conclusion cannot be a logical necessity E.G. Constructing circle (Venn) diagrams stupid eat pizza students No students are stupid No stupid people eat pizza Therefore no students eat pizza students stupid eat pizza A B athletes pianists prof. All professors are pianists All the pianists are athletes Therefore all the professors are athletes No alternative is possible

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