Problem Solving: Algorithms vs. Heuristics

In this video I explain the difference between an algorithm and a heuristic and provide an example demonstrating why we tend to use heuristics when solving problems. While algorithms provide step-by-step procedures that can guarantee solutions, heuristics are faster and provide shortcuts for getting to solutions, though this has the potential to cause errors. In the next few videos we’ll …

Obstacles to Problem Solving

In this video I introduce several potential obstacles to problem-solving including overconfidence, illusory superiority, belief bias, and belief perseverance. Then I describe a “consider the opposite” strategy for potentially reducing the influence of bias when interpreting evidence that supports or contradicts our pre-existing beliefs. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see future videos! Have questions or topics you’d …

Problem Solving

In this video I introduce several concepts related to problem-solving. I begin with mental set, which refers to our tendency to rely on approaches that have worked in the past. Similarly, functional fixedness refers to our tendency to think of tools as having single fixed uses and this may cause us to overlook novel uses for them. Convergent thinking refers …

Category Recognition

In this video I consider how language can help us to organize thought and create more precise concepts and categories. This raises the question of how we recognize new stimuli as being part of a particular category. Protoype theory suggests that we mentally compare new stimuli to a prototype or most-typical example for a particular category. Exemplar theory suggests that …

How Does Language Influence Thought?

In this video I consider the relationship between language and thought. The Whorf-Sapir hypothesis, or linguistic relativity hypothesis, suggests that one’s language influences one’s perception of the world. While evidence is mixed on just how language influences thought, there are other ways of examining the complex relationship between language, thought, and culture. It’s possible to consider how language influences thought …