Patterns, Thinking, And Cognition: A Theory of Judgment

Paperback | August 3, 1990

byHoward Margolis

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What happens when we think? How do people make judgments? While different theories abound—and are heatedly debated—most are based on an algorithmic model of how the brain works. Howard Margolis builds a fascinating case for a theory that thinking is based on recognizing patterns and that this process is intrinsically a-logical. Margolis gives a Darwinian account of how pattern recognition evolved to reach human cognitive abilities.

Illusions of judgment—standard anomalies where people consistently misjudge or misperceive what is logically implied or really present—are often used in cognitive science to explore the workings of the cognitive process. The explanations given for these anomalous results have generally explained only the anomaly under study and nothing more. Margolis provides a provocative and systematic analysis of these illusions, which explains why such anomalies exist and recur.

Offering empirical applications of his theory, Margolis turns to historical cases to show how an individual's cognitive repertoire—the available cognitive patterns and their relation to cues—changes or resists changes over time. Here he focuses on the change in worldview occasioned by the Copernican discovery: not only how an individual might come to see things in a radically new way, but how it is possible for that new view to spread and become the dominant one. A reanalysis of the trial of Galileo focuses on social cognition and its interactions with politics.

In challenging the prevailing paradigm for understanding how the human mind works, Patterns, Thinking, and Cognition is certain to stimulate fruitful debate.

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From Our Editors

A fascinating case for a theory that thinking is based on recognizing patterns and that this process is intrinsically a-logical. Margolis gives a Darwinian account of how pattern recognition evolved to reach human cognitive abilities. 0226505294 For decades, both policymakers and analysts have been frustrated by sharp and stubborn co...

From the Publisher

What happens when we think? How do people make judgments? While different theories abound—and are heatedly debated—most are based on an algorithmic model of how the brain works. Howard Margolis builds a fascinating case for a theory that thinking is based on recognizing patterns and that this process is intrinsically a-logical. Margoli...

From the Jacket

A fascinating case for a theory that thinking is based on recognizing patterns and that this process is intrinsically a-logical. Margolis gives a Darwinian account of how pattern recognition evolved to reach human cognitive abilities.

Howard Margolis is senior lecturer in the Graduate School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago.

other books by Howard Margolis

Format:PaperbackDimensions:339 pages, 9.07 × 6.04 × 1 inPublished:August 3, 1990Publisher:University Of Chicago Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226505286

ISBN - 13:9780226505282

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
1. Illusions
2. Two Preliminary Arguments
3. A Cognitive Ladder
4. P-Cognition
5. Knowledge, Belief, Logic
6. Learning: Level 1
7. Learning: Level 2
8. Cognitive Statics: Three Experiments
9. Cognitive Dynamics: Paradigm Shifts
10. The Darwinian Discovery
11. The Copernican Issues
12. The Copernican Discovery
13. The Copernican Contagion
14. Political Judgment: Galileo and the Pope
Notes
Literature Cited
Index

From Our Editors

A fascinating case for a theory that thinking is based on recognizing patterns and that this process is intrinsically a-logical. Margolis gives a Darwinian account of how pattern recognition evolved to reach human cognitive abilities. 0226505294 For decades, both policymakers and analysts have been frustrated by sharp and stubborn conflicts between expert and lay perceptions of environmental risk. Carefully examining the role of intuition, mental habits, and cognitive frameworks in the construction of public opinion, this compelling and controversial account moves beyond previous efforts by risk analysts to bridge the expert/lay impasse that has plagued environmental policy. At the same time, it represents a major contribution to our understanding of how the mind works and how those workings affect public policy."Dealing with Risk tackles a fascinating subject. Why do experts find some risks negligible, such as those from nuclear waste, while the public finds them unacceptable -- and vice versa, as was the case, for example, with seat belts?" -- New Scientist