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Flashcards in Problem 3 Deck (46)
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What is design thinking ?

1. It is a methodology for generating innovation


2. Begins with developing an understanding of the users need + behaviors by observing them in their natural environments

--> explores possible solutions for improving the user experience


What are cognitive traps ?

Which ones may be possibly encountered in the process of innovative thinking ?

Cognitive traps can hinder observation + interfere with understanding the users experience


1. Top down processing

2. Encoding failures

3. Inattentional blindness

4. Conformation bias

5. Fundamental attribution error

6. Sunk cost trap


Top down processing

Refers to a tendency to draw conclusions early based on experience + expectations rather than waiting for direct observation

--> may lead to encoding failures


Encoding failures

Refer to instances where apparently unimportant details are simply not captured/missed

--> due to fact that brain usually focus on the core of a situation to maximize efficiency


Inattentional blindness

Failing to see things in plain sight because the attention is directed elsewhere


Conformation bias

Refers to a manifestation of preexisting beliefs or preferences, which cloud the information collection process


How can we overcome these cognitive traps ?

By using metacognition, meaning the ability to think about our own cognitive processes

--> this ability to notice when we are slipping into cognitive traps and employ effective countermeasures.


Mental sets can make it easy so solve a particular class of problems, but attachment to the wrong ones can inhibit creativity.

How can such fixation be combatted ?

1. Reframing, meaning rethinking the problem

2. Assume an alternative identity, meaning imagining how others might face the challenge

3. Avoiding to invest too heavily in a single idea but keeping multiple

4. Taking notes of feedback for later processing

5. Attention to cognitive traps


Fundamental attribution error

Refers to the tendency to rationalize our own failures as being due to external circumstances


Sunk cost trap

Refers to a situation when learning + adaptation become constrained by a heavy emotional investment in the initial idea


Creative cognition approach

Suggests that the acquisition of different knowledge systems is precursory to the generation of creative ideas

--> helps overcome cognitive fixedness


Similarity processing mindest

Refers to a process by which individuals focus on the similarities between the comparison target and the standard

  •  indicates target-standard similarity

ex.: foreign culture vs local culture


Dissimilarity processing mindset

Refers to a process by which individuals focus on the dissimilarities between the comparison target + the standard

--> indicates target-standard contrast


Creativity is enhanced when you adopt the ... mindset. Why is that ?


--> when being exposed to dual cultural primes with higher levels of cultural distance one will automatically be inclined to adopt a difference mindset, as opposed to when the two contrasting cultures aren't that different from each other but rather similar


Incubation period

Refers to the temporary shift away from an unsolved problem that allows a solution to emerge seemingly as if from no additional effort


What are the 4 phases in problem solving ?

1. Preparation

2. Incubation

3. Illumination

4. Verification


Conscious-work hypothesis


States that incubation effects are due to issues such as reduction of mental fatigue + additional covert problem solving during incubation period


Unconscious-work hypothesis


Suggests that positive incubation effects are the result of gradual + unconscious problem solving processes that occur during incubation period


What are the 3 unconscious processes that have been proposed to account for incubation effects ?

1. Eliciting new knowledge

  •  Activation will spread towards previously ignored but relevant memory items


2. Selective forgetting

  •  IP will weaken the activation of inappropriate solution concepts that distract from the relevant ones


3. Problem restructuring

  •  the individuals mental representation of a problem will be reorganized


What facilitates postincubation problem solving/positive incubation effects ?

1. A certain level of involvement in other tasks during the incubation period

2. A long incubation period

3. A better memory for failed problems

--> failure in general

4. Fixation on misleading information before incubation period


What are the cross cultural differences when it comes to creativity ?

Westerners are more creative, whereas easterners are better at deductive reasoning


Why are easterners less creative than westerners ?

1. Collectivistic culture

2. Eastern societies put more emphasis on social roles + education

3. Prefer to apply intuitive reasoning when problem solving

4. Put emphasis on mimicking existing abilities with the aim to refine them


Deductive reasoning

Requires the use of conscious intent to develop logically justifiable conclusions from a set of premises provided

--> top-down reasoning


Intuitive reasoning

Refers to experience based reasoning, where one overlooks rules + logic when at odds with intuition


Formal reasoning

Refers to rule based reasoning which emphasizes logical inference and overlooks sense experience when conflicted with rules + logic



Refers to the ability to create something that is judged by a group of experts in a certain field as both original + worthwhile

--> it is a product of culture that'd be meaningless without the judgments of others


How do western societies foster creativity ?

1. Being individualistic, because one has to stand out from the group in order to be unique

2. Apply formal reasoning


Creativity requires ...

1. Skills

2. Dispositions (Attitudes)

  • intrinsic motivation

3. Translations into action

4. Overcoming misconceptions

  •  e.g.: brainstorming, relaxation



Experience of suddenly realizing how to solve a problem

--> incubation can be involved but doesn't always have the needed effect


Well defined problems

1. Refer to problems where all aspects of it are clearly specified

2. Most commonly used in research as an optimal strategy can easily be identified

--> Initial goal, methods available

ex.: maze, chess