In this Very Short Introduction Jonathan Evans explores cognitive psychological approaches to understanding the nature of thinking and reasoning, problem solving, and decision making. He shows how our problem solving capabilities are hugely dependent on also having the imagination to ask the right questions, and the ability to see things from a completely new perspective.Beginning by considering the approaches of the behaviourists and the Gestalt psychologists, he moves on to modern explorations of thinking, including hypothetical thinking, conditionals, deduction, rationality, and intuition. Covering the role of past learning, IQ, and cognitive biases, Evans also discusses the idea that there may be two different ways of thinking, arising from our evolutionary history.
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No one in our field but Jonathan Evans could pack so much information and erudition into such a small space.Only Evans could have spanned the areas of reasoning and decision making and tied them together through his deep knowledge of dual-process theory and hypothetical thinking. (Advance praise from Keith E. Stanovich, Emeritus Professor of Applied Psychology and Human Development, University of Toronto)Jonathan Evans, a leading cognitive psychologist, has written an account of studies of thinking and reasoning, condensing a vast range of topics into an amazingly succinct synopsis. (Advance praise from Philip Johnson-Laird, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Princeton University)