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What Makes Us Smart

The Computational Logic of Human Cognition

Samuel Gershman

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Princeton University Press img Link Publisher

Sachbuch / Angewandte Psychologie

Beschreibung

How a computational framework can account for the successes and failures of human cognition

At the heart of human intelligence rests a fundamental puzzle: How are we incredibly smart and stupid at the same time? No existing machine can match the power and flexibility of human perception, language, and reasoning. Yet, we routinely commit errors that reveal the failures of our thought processes. What Makes Us Smart makes sense of this paradox by arguing that our cognitive errors are not haphazard. Rather, they are the inevitable consequences of a brain optimized for efficient inference and decision making within the constraints of time, energy, and memory—in other words, data and resource limitations. Framing human intelligence in terms of these constraints, Samuel Gershman shows how a deeper computational logic underpins the “stupid” errors of human cognition.

Embarking on a journey across psychology, neuroscience, computer science, linguistics, and economics, Gershman presents unifying principles that govern human intelligence. First, inductive bias: any system that makes inferences based on limited data must constrain its hypotheses in some way before observing data. Second, approximation bias: any system that makes inferences and decisions with limited resources must make approximations. Applying these principles to a range of computational errors made by humans, Gershman demonstrates that intelligent systems designed to meet these constraints yield characteristically human errors.

Examining how humans make intelligent and maladaptive decisions, What Makes Us Smart delves into the successes and failures of cognition.

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Schlagwörter

Ambiguity, Human intelligence, Fair coin, Prediction, Truth value, Uncertainty, Ad hoc hypothesis, Approximation, Bayesian probability, Likelihood function, Value of information, Commitment device, Behavior, Explanation, Learnability, Thought, Perfect rationality, Attractiveness, Counterintuitive, Logical extreme, Expected value, Rationality, Normative, Circular reasoning, Strong inference, Probability, With high probability, Action potential, Anecdote, Inductive bias, Prosocial behavior, Controllability, Rational agent, Almost surely, Our Choice, Natural approach, Predictive coding, Accuracy and precision, Rational choice theory, Hot Hand, Cognitive style, Cognition, Point estimation, Politeness, Estimation, Inference, Prior probability, Principle of rationality, Bayes' theorem, Bayesian, Altruism, Cognitive flexibility, Mutual exclusivity, Heuristic, Result, Spontaneous recovery, Analogy, Suggestion, Predictive power, Observational learning, Opportunity cost, Efficacy, Theory, Efficient frontier, Sophistication, Decision-making, Optimism bias, Guessing, Bayesian inference, Alternative hypothesis, Motivated reasoning, Positive feedback, Confidence, Effectiveness, Observation, Optimism, Ad hominem, Adaptive bias, Credibility, Reinforcement learning, Of Miracles, Logical reasoning, Predictability, Pairwise comparison, Self-control, Physical attractiveness, Conspiracy theory, Illusion of control, Intelligent design, Lightness (philosophy), Confirmation bias, Efficiency, Efficient coding hypothesis, Utility, Gimmick, Hypothesis, Quantity, Fair market value, Reason, Moral hazard