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47 Cards in this Set

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an obstacle between a present state and a goal state and it is not immediately clear how to get around the obstacle

Well-defined problem

a problem whose goals, starting information, and steps are explicitly stated

ill-defined problem

a problem that does not have a goal, starting information, or step explicitly stated

problem solving

transforming starting information into a goal state, using a specified means of solution

domain-specific problem solving

problem solving strategies that only work for certain types of problems


transforming or manipulating information that may be focused or unfocused

generate and test technique

generating possible solutions and testing them

means end analysis

comparing goal state with the starting point, thinking of possible ways to get to the end goal and choosing the best

working backwards

analyze last step needed to achieve the goal, then go to the next-to-last step


make provisional assumptions about a problem's solution. keep track of when and which assumptions were made, in case you have to undo them

reasoning by analogy

analogy between current problem and another problem that has already been solved

mental set

a preconceived notion about how to approach a problem based on a person's experience or what has worked in the past

functional fixedness

having difficulty seeing alternate uses for common objects


people who have devoted a large amount of time learning about a field and practicing and applying that learning


innovative thinking, novel ideas, new connections between existing ideas

divergent thinking

thinking that is open-ended, involving a large number of potential solutions

preinventive forms

ideas precede creation of the finished product

latent inhibition (LI)

capacity to screen out stimuli considered irrelevant


transform given information into conclusions


a statement that helps establish what is already known about a problem


the process of selecting one course of action among alternatives

deductive reasoning

drawing conclusions from given premises

deductive validity

a logical argument is one where it is impossible for all premises to be true and the conclusion to be false

inductive reasoning

draw conclusions from observation

inductive strength

a logical argument is one where it is improbable for the premises to be true and the conclusion false

propositional reasoning

drawing conclusions from premises in the form of propositons


assertion that is either true or false

logical connectives

symbols used in logical arguments to form compound propositions

truth table

every combination of truth values of individual propositions is listed


always true


always false

syllogistic reasoning

reasoning with problems concerning relationships among categories

categorical syllogism

premises require quantifiers

believability effect

the tendency to draw or accept conclusions form premises when the content of the conclusion makes intuitive sense

mental model

specific situation represented in a person's mind that can be used to help determine the validity of syllogisms in deductive reasoning

analogical reasoning

drawing inductive inferences that specify a fourth term that projects a relationship found between the first two terms onto the third term of the analogy

hypothesis reasoning

testing a number of possible solutions to a problem and modifying them based on feedback

confirmation bias

tendency to seek only information that is consistent with the hypothesis

formal reasoning

reasoning about problems with explicit premises, final solutions, and well-defined operations

everyday reasoning

mundane reasoning that has implicit premises, multiple solutions, personal relevance, and possible emotional involvement


tendency to perform in a certain way regardless of the information presented


thinking or decision-making where the processes used are selected with overall goals and principles in mind

cognitive overload

available information overwhelms cognitive processing capacity

cultural universality

phenomena that is common to all people

cultural relativity

people of different cultural background think differently


multidimensional construct that describes the changes that occur as a result of continuous contact between two or more cultures

racial/ethnic identity

the significance and meaning that individual places on race and/or ethnicity in defining themselves