The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment Essay

1385 Words 6 Pages
The power of our mind comes not from its ability to observe, but its ability to apply these observations to create assumptions about the world around us. In doing so our mind goes beyond the information given, our sensory information, and uses these assumptions to respond in an appropriate manner. For our purposes an assumption is any belief or prediction we have about an object or situation that could not be ascertained solely from the information given to us by our senses and is based on prior experiences with the purpose of giving us reliable information to use. Our mind makes assumptions because without doing so it would need to treat every event as a new problem to be solved, when one’s mind finally did come to the solution, it would …show more content…
(207, Goldstein) While such an experiment is a trick and wouldn’t happen often, or possibly even at all, in nature, our brain still wrongly assumes that the features are tied together. Our assumptions are also based on observation and can aid the analysis of our perception, an example of this are images of circles with a black to white gradient on them. When the white is on top they appear convex and when the black is on top appear concave. This comes from our observation that the sun and other light sources are above us so if part of an object is bright it is facing towards the sun (up) and if it is dark, it is facing away from the sun (down). (191 Gregory) Making this assumption is useful since it provides us with a simple way to see if something is concaved or convex without touching it. Another type of assumption we make about objects is that we will use the context of the situation to generalize what they are, such as the image of a boy holding a large ring (180-1 Gregory), on a blank page the object appears to be an ellipse, however in the context of the scene with the little boy we will assume that it is circular since we know people tend to deal with circular objects more than elliptical ones. Of course our assumptions are not innate, but built through our experiences. An example of this is that children are less susceptible to the gradient circles appearing concave or convex.
We make assumptions because we

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