8.2 | Problem Solving, Judgment, and Decision Making Flashcards Preview

🚫 PSY100H1: Introduction to Psychology (Winter 2016) with J. Vervaeke > 8.2 | Problem Solving, Judgment, and Decision Making > Flashcards

Flashcards in 8.2 | Problem Solving, Judgment, and Decision Making Deck (8)
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1

Defining and Solving Problems

  • problem solving: accomplishing a goal when the solution or the path to the solution is not clear 

2

Problem-Solving Strategies and Techniques

  • algorithms: problem-solving strategies based on a series of rules; more objective, logical, and slower
    • e.g. you've lost your phone (and it's not in your house) so you make a list of the places you’ve been in the last 24 hours and then retracing your steps until you (hopefully) find your phone 
  • heuristics: problem-solving strategies that stem from prior experiences and provide an educated guess as to what is the most likely solution; more subjective, intuitive, and quicker
    • e.g. same situation, but instead you think about previous times you’ve lost your phone or wallet and using these experiences to guide your search 

3

Cognitive Obstacles

  • mental set: a cognitive obstacle that occurs when an individual attempts to apply a routine solution to what is actually a new type of problem 
    • e.g. the nine-dot problem
  • functional fixedness: when an individual identifies an object or technique that could potentially solve a problem, but can think of only its most obvious function 

4

Representativeness and Availablity

  • representativeness heuristic: making judgments of likelihood based on how well an example represents a specific category
    • e.g. Linda the (feminist) bank teller
  • availability heuristic: estimating the frequency of an event based on how easily examples of it come to mind 
    • e.g. whether words that begin with the letter K or have it as the third letter are more common
    • people will choose the former, even though the latter is correct
  • heuristics, although often useful, can cause us to incorrectly judge the risks associated with many elements of our lives 

5

Anchoring Effects

  • anchoring effect: when an individual attempts to solve a problem involving numbers and uses previous knowledge to keep (i.e. anchor) the response within a limited range 
  • the anchoring heuristic has also been produced experimentally; questions worded in different ways can produce vastly different responses  
  • e.g. Is the percentage of countries in the United Nations greater than or less than 10%/65%? What do you think the exact percentage is?
    • answers from participants were either 25% or 45%, respectively

6

Framing Effects

This activity suggests that the brain may be attempting to incorporate this response into a new set of mental rules that can be used to guide similar decisions in the future. 

7

Belief Perserverance and Confirmation Bias

  • belief perseverance: when an individual believes he or she has the solution to the problem or the correct answer for a question, and accepts only evidence that will confirm those beliefs
  • confirmation bias: when an individual searches for only evidence that will confirm his or her beliefs instead of evidence that might disconfirm them 
  • research on these biases show that people treat evidence in ways that minimize negative or uncomfortable feelings while maximizing positive feelings 

8

Maximizing and Satisficing in Complex Decisions

  • satisficers: individuals who seek to make decisions that are “good enough"
  • maximizers: individuals who attempt to evaluate every option for every choice until they find the perfect fit 
  • paradox of choice: the observation that more choices can lead to less satisfaction 
  • in one study, UBC students were asked to sample one piece of chocolate from an array of 6 and 30 pieces
  • the maximizers were happier when there were fewer options 
  • one hypothesis that seeks to explain the dissatisfaction of maximizers suggests that they invest more in the decision, so they expect more from the outcome 

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