Problem Solving

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  • Created by: The Shrew
  • Created on: 27-01-16 16:50
3 key factors of problem solving
Purposeful/ controlled processes/ specialised knowledge/ specialised operations
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2 types of thinking
Reproductive/ Productive
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Cats hit bar which allows them to escape- time improves over trials- operant conditioning/ trial and error
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Apes reaching bananas using boxes and sticks- productive thinking and insight
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Chimps reaching peanut from tube- insight
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Cognitive behaviour theory
Internal states or representation of self leads to behaviour
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Two types of problem
Ill-defined/ Well-defined
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Problem solving as state change
Start state/ goal state/ operation/ subgoal
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Means-ends analysis
How you get from present to goal state
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Brute force
Try every move possible
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procedure guaranteed to reach solution
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Deep blue
computer that's unbeatable at chess
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Brute force can work if
State space can be restricted
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Procedures that are likely to reach solution
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Hill climbing heuristic
keep going- don't know if going right way
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Newell and Simon
General Problem Solver GPS- computer program simulates mental problem solving- works for several well defined problems
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Metric that measures distance from goal
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verbal descriptions ps gave while solving tasks
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Sweller and Levine
Maze with visible or invisible goal- invisible= 38 moves/ visible= only 10% under 298 moves- people prefer to hill climb
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Speeds up problem solving
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Follows power function
chunk retrieval speeds up problem solving
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Newell and Rosenbloom
Power law of learning- more improvement early in training, chunks start to yield smaller improvement later on
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Ritter et al
Geometry problems- time to solution according to power function
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Anderson et al
Adaptive thought control- computer framework for simulating human thought- retrieval module (memory)/ imagination module
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fMRI Tower of Hanoi
Frontal and parietal areas= planning
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Chase and Simon
Remembering chess boards- experts quicker at real boards but not random- chunks rather than surface features
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Ahn et al
Novice clinicians more likely to think there was shared cause underlying mental distress- simpler models
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Transfer previously learned knowledge
Positive transfer/ negative transfer
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candle, tack ****
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Functional fixedness
Negative transfer- 5 year olds don't have this
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Bowden et al
Hard to study insight- takes too long and ps don't report
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Compound remote associations task
fMRI- language in left hemisphere/ insight- right hemisphere
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Representativity Heuristics
How characteristics reflect a category- ignore base rate or how common categories are
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Kennedy et al
ADHD- commonality of 5%- ignore base rate= over diagnosis
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Conjunction logic
Two categories together less common that one- ignore this
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Gambler's fallacy
Law of small numbers, assume small samples have same distribution as whole population
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Regression towards mean
Extreme events followed by event closer to mean
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Availability Heuristic
Determining likelihood by searching memory
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Tversky and Kahneman
More English words start with K or have k as third letter- easier to retrieve words starting with k
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Anchoring Heuristic
Once judgement is made people less likely to adjust in response to data
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Friedlander and Stockman
Case study of anorexic woman- this info given later= less likely to categorise as anorexic
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2 types of thinking


Reproductive/ Productive

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