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VANESSA’S Super Crazy Fun Psychology of Thinking Condensed Study Guide Version 6.

Psychology 122 – Final Study Guide


Professor Matt Serra
Duke University – Fall 2006
Vanessa Villamia Sochat

CONTENTS

CONSCIOUSNESS .......................................................................................................................................................... 2
Four Proposed Functions of Consciousness .............................................................................................................. 2
Proposed Views on Source of Consciousness ........................................................................................................... 2
Consciousness is a fundamental property of matter. ............................................................................................ 2
Consciousness is a property of protoplasm ........................................................................................................... 2
Consciousness is the result of learning .................................................................................................................. 2
Consciousness as a metaphysical imposition ........................................................................................................ 2
Hapless Spectator Theory...................................................................................................................................... 3
Problems ................................................................................................................................................................... 3
Emergent Evolution ............................................................................................................................................... 3
Consciousness as the nervous system itself .......................................................................................................... 3
What consciousness is or isn’t .............................................................................................................................. 3
LEARNING ..................................................................................................................................................................... 3
Associationist View Learning..................................................................................................................................... 4
Signal Learning ...................................................................................................................................................... 4
Skill Learning ......................................................................................................................................................... 4
Solution Learning: how can we figure out how to make something happen more?............................................. 4
Location of Consciousness ........................................................................................................................................ 5
Non-consciousness ....................................................................................................................................................... 5
Memory and Unconscious Processing .......................................................................................................................... 5
Testing Implicit vs Explicit Memory ........................................................................................................................... 5
DREAMS ........................................................................................................................................................................ 6
Realist Theory of Dreams .......................................................................................................................................... 6
Today’s Theories ....................................................................................................................................................... 6
Heuristic Theory: Sigmund Freud .......................................................................................................................... 6
Physical Theory of Dreams .................................................................................................................................... 6
Why do we Dream?............................................................................................................................................... 7
CREATIVITY ! ................................................................................................................................................................. 7
Human Creativity ...................................................................................................................................................... 7
Inspirational Approach .......................................................................................................................................... 8
Romantic View ...................................................................................................................................................... 8
Creative Solutions ..................................................................................................................................................... 8
Approaches to Study of Creativity ............................................................................................................................ 8
Psychometric Approach......................................................................................................................................... 8
Information Processing Approach ....................................................................................................................... 10
Developmental View in Psychology ........................................................................................................................ 10
Working Definition for Creativity ............................................................................................................................ 11
CONSCIOUSNESS
What is consciousness?
• Behaviorists say that it doesn’t exist, only behavior is important
• Is it inner awareness?

FOUR PROPOSED FUNCTIONS OF CONSCIOUSNESS


1) A simplification function: decides what to do next
2) A guiding and overseeing actions function
3) sets priorities for action
4) detects and resolves discrepancies

PROPOSED VIEWS ON SOURCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS


CONSCIOUSNESS IS A FUNDAMENTAL PROPERTY OF MATTER.
o it is an interaction between any pieces of matter
o we interact with different matters differently
o This view does not get at the why of the experience

CONSCIOUSNESS IS A PROPERTY OF PROTOPLASM


o it is a fundamental property of all living things
o it is a matter of evolutionary level. As complexity increases, so does level of consciousness
o Jennings: research supports this view
taught worms maze
Ground up worms
Fed to other worms
Worms could do the maze!
o we commonly project our consciousness onto other organisms (my dog, bird)

CONSCIOUSNESS IS THE RESULT OF LEARNING


o consciousness began when associative learning appeared after life had evolved
o interprets higher mental processes as resulting from combinations of sensory/mental elements.
Associations are based on three principles:
 Contiguity
 Contingency
 Similarity
o if an animal can modify its behavior based on experience, it must be aware of that experience.

o Ohhh no, consciousness CAN’T be the result of learning. Here’s why.


 Being conscious of something doesn’t correlate with learning it, and learning something
doesn’t mean we are conscious of it!
• Studies showing non-conscious learning
• Studies showing how consciousness is detrimental to learning
(for this information, go to next section)

CONSCIOUSNESS AS A METAPHYSICAL IMPOSITION


o this theory assumes that it is impossible that consciousness evolved biologically
o Life evolved up to a certain point, and then man went an entirely different direction. We are
SPECIAL! (at least I know I am ☺)
o Something divine had to be thrown in the mix
 Wallace: proposed that some metaphysical force directed evolution at three critical
points in man’s evolution:
• Beginning of life
• Beginning of consciousness
• Beginning of civilized culture
I’m a scientist, I don’t buy in!

HAPLESS SPECTATOR THEORY


o When some level of complexity is reached, consciousness is just there
o This is a materialistic view: can be explained by laws of matter
o Consciousness isn’t anything it all, it can’t do anything, it’s just along for the ride
o Everything we see/think/do is determined by the wiring diagram of the brain!
 Consciousness is just heat given off by the wires

PROBLEMS
1) Consciousness fluctuates
2) Cocktail party effect
3) Too strong a correlation between intensity/focus/awareness. Isn’t just a hapless spectator

EMERGENT EVOLUTION
o Consciousness emerged at some point in a very derivable form from its constituent parts. So it
was an…
o Emergent Property: something that is unexpected when you combine other things, and usually is
greater than the sum of the parts
o Leaves open the possibility for a new emergence – is a liberation from physics and chemistry - we
love it!

• Watson: (can someone tell me how he saved psychology, because I’m not sure about the order)

CONSCIOUSNESS AS THE NERVOUS SYSTEM ITSELF


o An attempt to locate consciousness in the body
o As complexity increases in brain, level of consciousness increases
o Reticular Formation
 Tangle of neurons that extends from top of spinal column that receives input from every
organ and area of the cortex
 Is evolutionary one of oldest parts of brain, so complexity argument doesn’t work.

WHAT CONSCIOUSNESS IS OR ISN’T


1) you can’t lose it. You lose reactivity
2) it is sum total of mental processes occurring now, moving forward
3) it knits itself over time gaps
4) it is not necessary in certain circumstances (automatic processes)
5) conscious retrospection is not the retrieval of images
6) It is not necessary for learning or concepts

CONSCIOUSNESS AND LEARNING


Consciousness is not necessary for learning!
ASSOCIATIONIST VIEW LEARNING
Considers
1) Learning of signals
2) Learning of skills
3) Learning of solutions

SIGNAL LEARNING
• classical or pavlovian condition
• Study:
o give light signal immediately followed by puff of air (unconditioned stimulus)
o eye learns to blink in response to the light (conditioned stimulus)
o if person consciously attempts to control response, learning doesn’t happen
 consciousness gets in the way!
• Mere exposure effect:
o People rate music heard during pleasant dinner as more pleasant than music of similar type not
heard at dinner.
o Make them aware of the music, and learning abilities reduced

SKILL LEARNING
• consciousness takes on role of hapless spectator. It:
1) directs us at the outset
2) takes us to the task
3) gives us the goal..
and then we just react! (throwing coins in air)

SOLUTION LEARNING: HOW CAN WE FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN MORE?
• Postman: Had participant sit across from partner and give random words. Partner responds positively to
particular type of word (adjective, etc). Subject unconsciously gives more words of that type, and figures
it all out after 20 minutes.
o Subject is not conscious that he/she is learning

• Gardner: Had members intro psych class compliment people wearing red. 70-80% people wearing red and
they didn’t know why!

• Hefferline/Keenan/Harford/Keeline
o Recorded movement muscle small muscle in thumb
o Told subjects were recording all over body
o When thumb muscle moved, delayed onset of nasty noise
o Rate of thumb muscle twitch increased significantly without subject knowing

• so consciousness is not necessary for thinking. When we introspect we invent the thought process we
think we had.

• Faculty Psychologists: wanted to prove that reasoning is proof of consciousness. If we reason, then we
have logical thought. But for natural thought process to take place consciousness is not necessary. We
only need logic because most reasoning is not conscious, so we come in after the fact and justify our
thinking with logic.
LOCATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Consciousness has no location except for the one that we make up

and other ramblings, in a nut shell…


1) consciousness is not reactivity
2) it is not involved in a host of perceptual phenomenon
3) it is not involved with the performance of skills and often hinders their execution
4) it need not be involved in speaking, writing, or listening
5) it does not copy down experience
6) it is not involved in signal learning or learning of skills or solutions
7) it is not necessary for making judgments or simple thinking
8) it is not the seat of reason
9) it is not necessary for creativity
10) it has only an imaginary location

NON-CONSCIOUSNESS
We know more about it than conscious processing!

• totally inaccessible to phenomenal awareness under any circumstance! (even if you tempt it with
chocolate covered peanuts). This is referred to as…
• Procedural knowledge an event, etc that occurs so automatically or effortlessly as to operate outside of
awareness (language, visual pattern recognition)
• Declarative Knowledge: accessible knowledge

• Louiki: talked about our language and the fact certain phrases sound better than others

• Foder: proposed that the mind has a set of innate cognitive modules that control these types of
procedural activities. Procedural knowledge can result from practice.

• Automatic:
o Happens in response to a given stimulus regardless of intent
o Can be detrimental if you aren’t paying attention (driving)

MEMORY AND UNCONSCIOUS PROCESSING


• traditionally, psychologists used explicit memory tasks -> requires individual to retrieve specific study
episode, a direct test of memory

TESTING IMPLICIT VS EXPLICIT MEMORY


• demonstrated that anteriograde amnesiacs could actually learn and remember things even though they
weren’t conscious of the learning episode
o Anteriograde Amnesia: inability to create new memories
o Retrograde Amnesia: not remembering memories from before the accident

• With explicit memory tests, amnesiacs performed worse than normal subjects.
• In some trials used:
o Word fragment completion task: R A I N B O W give stimulus, and have to complete word. Hard
for normals too!
o Word stem completion task: C H A _ _
 Both of these are implicit tasks, meaning they are indirect measures of memory. The
participant doesn’t have to recollect a specific learning episode with this test.
 Amnesiacs performed just as well as normal on both tasks

• HM: Doctor used buzzy thing on hand every day when he shook HM’s hand to introduce himself. After
some time, HM didn’t want to shake the doctor’s hand, but didn’t know why!
o Information is getting in implicitly, unconsciously!

• People can remember things when they are anesthetized


o Fat Lady Syndrome
o Bennett: filed lawsuit, doctors called her beached whale during surgery. Haha.
o Auditory functions are last to go
o Levenson: followed up on this and fabricated fake crisis during surgery
 4/10 recalled crisis words verbatim
 4 others showed elevated anxiety
o Beth Loftus: did work on false memory by testing her recognition memory for 100 unrelated
words after having abdominal surgery. Didn’t do very well. When she did a work completion
task, she did very well.
o Reactivity is gone, but consciousness persists. Awareness is not responsible for many things that
we do. We navigate world like oblivious idiots to be efficient! We have organized the world in a
particular way so we don’t have to think about things (months of year, alphabet, etc.)

DREAMS
REALIST THEORY OF DREAMS
• believe that everything is grounded in the real. Voices in dreams have to come from somewhere

TODAY’S THEORIES
HEURISTIC THEORY: SIGMUND FREUD
• Ties dreams to consciousness

Successful because…
o Freud was a brilliant observer
o Had a sense of common sense realism, said that consciousness is directly awareness of the real
world
o Was a scientific physicalist
 Energy is transformed and conserved and stored in the brain. When we go to sleep, the
energy is hard to repress. The body relaxes, the repressed energy is released in the
form of dreams
• The ego distorts the energy by conjuring up bizarre plot lines (dreams)

• Jung: thought that dreams make meaning as clear as possible

• Michelle (France) x 2 studied electrical activity of cat brains, and found that it fluctuates.
• Nathanial Clighton and Eugene A discovered REM sleep
o The brain is as active when you are asleep as when you are awake! Locus Cerulus disconnects the
motor and sensory parts of the brain. REM sleep led to physical theory of dreams.

PHYSICAL THEORY OF DREAMS


o Dreaming has no meaningful cause, it is simply activity that adds meaning as a natural result of
being conscious
o Hobson: dreaming is simply the awareness that is normal to an auto activated brain mind.
 Meant to associate meaning with neuronal activity
• When dreaming begins, just before REM sleep, activity starts in the brainstem
• Goes down in the evolutionarily newest part of the brain
• Sensory experiences that are part of sleep arise from the changing balances in
the organization of this brain activity

Cycle of Dreams
1) 1-2 dreams per REM cycle
2) 3-6 REM cycles per night

• Dreams we Remember: Physicalist says that it’s a fluke that we remember anything.
• Hobson: We dream in cognitive styles, and meaning people find in their dreams depends on their
cognitive style.
• Stickgold: proposed a new model of dreaming
o It’s a bottom up process driven by stimulus rather than by conceptual thinking
o Pons: contains a portion of the reticular formation important for sleep and arousal.
 FTG becomes active during REM sleep.
• Emotional state is the first thing attached to dream.
• Made available because FTG stimulates amygdala first (so should we see
gender differences)
• Steve Foote: during REM sleep there is a low level of chaos, and the brain ascribes meaning to this
mismatch of firing.
• So we can’t rely on dreamers to do the interpretation. How else can we study dreaming?
o Object transformation: are predictable. Transformations don’t appear to be random. They
reflect associations that most of us normally make.
o Plot Changes: can really be anything
• Neurons responsible for things in our dreams are the ones most active during the day
o They are primed
o Takes less activation for them to get involved
o Meaning is constructed by the waking mind, not the dreaming mind

WHY DO WE DREAM?
1) dream to consolidate memories
2) randomness can help with problem solving
3) self preservation mechanism
4) REM sleep is always made up for – so it’s important!
5) Dreams show us what remains when physical world taken away

CREATIVITY !
Dictionary: To bring into being or form out of nothing (impossible!)
• if we adhere to this definition, creativity is impossible
• psychological creativity: the production of new or novel ideas
o is this even possible? New ideas must be similar to something that already exists

HUMAN CREATIVITY
• unpredictable, but the main goal is science is to be able to predict things
• Two approaches
o Both assume creativity to be humanity’s crowning glory
o Neither has been critically examined

INSPIRATIONAL APPROACH
• creativity is mysterious and superhuman, requires divine intervention
• You either have it or you don’t

ROMANTIC VIEW
• Creativity is not divine, but is exception rather than rule
• Creative people are gifted with special talent
o It can be squandered or wasted, but not taught
• Creativity is fundamentally unanalyzable

• Kessler: says this view is trash. Developed view of


o biosociation of matrices: the juxtaposition of mingling or formerly unrelated ideas
o Social conditions impinge upon concerns of cognitive science
o How creative something is depends on two things:
 The mental processes of the individual who produces the solution
 Contextual factors surrounding the problem, person, etc.
• Thought processes underlying creativity aren’t really that different from other
kinds of thinking.
• creative solutions may just be the ones that are more difficult to find
o require synthesis of large amounts of creativity (expertise)
o connecting bodies of knowledge that weren’t connected before

• creativity can be boiled down to two foci:


1) Creative People
2) The creative process
3) The products of creativity
4) The creative places and persuasive power of the creative person

PEOPLE
PROCESS
PRODUCT
PLACE/PERSUASIVENESS

• Simonson: once creative ideas are accepted, can have profound influence on people

CREATIVE SOLUTIONS
• very Western, topics suited to math and science
• majority of what people consider art were created to fulfill certain goals

APPROACHES TO STUDY OF CREATIVITY


First two start with the creative PERSON

PSYCHOMETRIC APPROACH
• uses psychometric studies to attempt to predict creative achievement
• Psychometric study: anything that tries to get a profile by asking a series of questions
• concerned with products of creativity
o Look at products, find people that created them, and try to figure out what makes those
individuals creative

• Roe: examined north American scientists deemed creative, very alike


• One of the most important cognitive characteristics that distinguishes creative people from highly
intelligent people is the ability to find or select the appropriate problem – recognize what you can do well
and DO IT!

Personal Traits of the Creative Person

1) desire for originality


2) failure to conform to social pressure
3) tolerate ambiguity
4) self governing
5) Directing intelligence
6) High IQ is not of itself sufficient for creativity

What is the difference between intelligence and creativity?

• Psychometric tests show that creative people tend to have high IQ’s, but not all people with high IQ’s are
creative.

Convergent and Divergent Thinking

Guilford: general theory of intellect: Distinguished between two types of thinking:


Convergent and Divergent

o Convergent Thinking: needed to answer most items on an IQ test – Thinker is expected to


converge on the right answer to a problem… there is only one!
o Divergent Thinking: lead to many possible solutions to same problem. Requires originality and
flexibility

• The Brick Test may or may not test divergent/convergent thinking. We have to have some other
independent assessment of creativity to compare these results to.
• Torrance: developed tests that can correlate moderately well with latent measures of creativity
Torrance Test for Creativity
1) Given an image
2) Must come up with metaphor that is symbolically equivalent
1. scored on originality and acceptability

Miller’s Analogy Test


1) divergent-convergent test

Biographical/Autobiographical Approach
• conclusions are based on observations
• Starts with the life of creative person and considers:
o Product
o The environment
o Persuasiveness of creator
• IQ and creativity are not strongly related, same goes for creativity and scholastic achievement
• Biographical material is most readily available for people’s whose creative ability is well developed
• Perkins: compares two different descriptions of writing a poem. Poet found out to have done more
research than alludes to… says poem came to him in a dream
• Wallace: studied biographical information, suggested four stage account of thinking:
1) Preparation – absorb background information
2) Incubation – let the unconscious processing begin!
3) Inspiration
4) Verification
 Stages are not rigid, can shift from one to another

• Patrick: asked people to think of poem in response to picture


o People first gathered info, then inspired, and often revisited ideas
• Another study: Subjects given difficult task
o One group worked for 20 minutes straight
o the other group given 5 minute incubation period
 high skill performers did better in 20 minute block
 low performance subjects did better after 5 minute incubation period
 Problems:
• We don’t know how well would have done without incubation .
• Might not be completely out of consciousness
Latent Inhibition: an animal’s nonconscious ability to ignore stimuli that experience has shown to be irrelevant to
its needs
• creative people appear to be more open to incoming stimuli
• have an ability to remain in touch with many ideas without losing focus

• Mendrick: any creative idea almost inevitably brings together two previously unrelated ideas
o Implausible and impossible that all possible combinations of ideas are tried
o Constraints arise (domain, time, environment, physical condition, etc)
• internal goals seem to motivate creativity more than external goals
• CSIKSZENT-MIHALYI: likened the work of the social field to that of natural selection. argued that three
main forces shapes creativity:
1) creative individual
2) social field determines which ideas are worth retaining
3) stability of society over time to ensure idea continues to be considered creative

INFORMATION PROCESSING APPROACH


The only one that considers in detail the mental processes that contribute to creativity
(not sure which one this is… help me out guys?) I think it is a lost heading…

DEVELOPMENTAL VIEW IN PSYCHOLOGY


• Rule and Simon: problem solving rule that people want to relate to creative thought
o you can use idea of problem solving when it comes to machine creativity
o Pure problem solving approaches emphasize role of memory and domain specific knowledge
o 1987 Simon and colleagues tried to apply this to machines – came up with computer programs
1) BACON: Main BACON program derived quantitative laws (planetary motion) by
numerical induction of raw data.
• Feed it data, give it laws, and it would devise quantitative laws. Is that
creativity? NO!
2) DALTON: Modules thinking of chemist John Dalton. Attempted to capture qualitative
reasoning.
• Taught an early version of atomic theory of matter
• Then asked to work out structure for molecules based on information about
chemical reactions. Is that creativity? NO

• Johnson Laird: agrees that social factors are important in defining the constraints on a particular genre of
art.
o effects must be mediated by mind of individual. If you make an identical computer, constraints
are interpreted in the same way.
o Possession of skill set is important, a necessity but it isn’t sufficient
o Computers aren’t creative, but forgery is?

WORKING DEFINITION FOR CREATIVITY


1) the results of a creative process must be new at least for the creative person while they are produced from
pre-existing elements
2) results must not be produced by
o recall from memory,
o rote computation, or
o any other simple deterministic process
(this rules out MACHINES!)
3) the results must satisfy a set of criteria (influence of context to society)
• process must be distinguished from induction.
o The act or process of drawing general principles from particular instances or facts
Induction just increases amount of information, doesn’t change way we look at information.

Creativity is non-deterministic?
• creative processes appeared non-deterministic because we don’t know what we’re looking at, we don’t
know how to recognize if something is creative or not, so sometimes we get lucky
• Johnson Laird attempted to come up with computational account of creativity, suggesting three possible
classes of algorithms that might be used:
1) Neo-Darwinian – combine old elements in a random way. Results are subjected to a
selection process for which only viable combinations are retained. Take many
iterations, and viable creative product emerges
2) Neo-mamarchian – initial combination stage is not random. It still makes use of old
elements, but there are constraints placed on what can be combined with what. Usually
produces several viable combinations. Then there’s a random selection process. If
constraints are tight enough, then we come up with one thing!
3) A mixture of los dos!

• Johnson Laird made computer program to do this: JAZZ

• Bowdoin: an idea is created for a particular person if that person could not have that idea before. The
only way is If they don’t have the knowledge or requisite skill set.

o It is historically creative if NO ONE could have had the idea before


o Defines could not in terms of what person’s initial representation of the process allowed
o Mental restructuring can take various forms, but it must be defined in computational terms.
1) A creative solution may require a complete restructuring or devising a new technique
for the search of the solution. (So come up with new space or new way to search space)
o There have to be constraints to distinguish creativity and eccentricity (where society comes in)
• These constraints assign degrees of creativity
• Most of these constraints arise from previous acts, solutions, etc that were
previously called creative
• Something cannot be judged creative except by people who know previous
ways of doing things. So creativity can only be judged in historical context.

• Truscott demonstrated that origins of symphony are last total reconstruction of music in a long time.
What is prized in music isn’t development of symphony, but what is produced by symphony
o Creative works of art must also appeal to us in some sense… scientific theorem doesn’t have to
appeal though! In science it may be restructuring that is key:

Cognitive scientists focus on processes of the mind of individuals, but a total account of creativity has to take more
than thought process into account. You have to make reference to social factors. Many may not impinge on mind
of creative individual. Psychologists have taken many approaches to study of creativity:
• psychometric tests
• tests of divergent thinking (Guilford)
• Biographical and Autobiographical aspects or accounts of creativity
• Wallace IDd four stages creative process
o These stages have been reproduced in lab
• ideas drawn from Darwinian ideas of natural selection
• Laird uses evolutionary ideas too!
• Bowdoin suggested that creativity depends on having ideas you couldn’t have had before, give you have
machinery necessary for task and a historically educated audience

Creativity is in the eye of the beholder!

THAT’S ALL FOLKS!