A Companion to Cognitive Science by George Graham, William Bechtel

By George Graham, William Bechtel

Unequalled within the caliber of its world-renowned members, this multidisciplinary better half serves as either a direction textual content and a reference booklet around the wide spectrum of problems with main issue to cognitive technological know-how.

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In some computer programs, chess can indeed be played by evaluating every alternative move down to some depth of possible outcomes, then choosing the one with the best prospect. Evidently, when humans play, we do nothing like this. Instead we satisfice—we consider options until we find one that is good enough—with an acceptable level of gain or probability of victory—and go with that. As reflected in Simon’s Nobel Prize, an economics based on real, human rationality differs profoundly from an economics based on abstract, global, ideal evaluation of options.

We may look at this question in different ways. I will just mention two. Over the past hundred years, literally thousands of experiments have investigated methods for predicting how well people will perform at work. In total, millions of people have been tested in every conceivable job from the simplest and most unskilled to the most complex. The basic aim is to devise tests or methods giving the best possible chance of hiring effective employees. Every conceivable type of method has been examined—interviews, references, on-the-job performance tests, personality measures, basic ability tests, graphology (trying to read a person’s nature from their handwriting).

Other tasks in this category seem to depend strongly on some specific talent (in Spearman’s terms, a strong s)—a talent for music, for example. ” Probably most of us would say that solving puzzles seems more “intelligent” than pressing a button as soon as a light comes on. Apparently, this intuition—based presumably on a lifetime’s experience of our own mental lives and those of the people around us—has some real relationship to whatever it is that g measures. In terms of true understanding, however, this does not move us very far.

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