Theories and methods of problem solving and metaknowledge (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Roberto Burro
Roberto Burro
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A dal Feb 18, 2019 al Mar 30, 2019.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

Human has always interested you are always interested in the operation of his own thought. Thinking allows us to act, to overcome difficulties and problems. Act properly, overcoming difficulties and problems in a given context is to think correctly in that context. To think correctly is helpful to know how the thought.
After presenting an updated discussion of the areas of investigation of the psychology of thinking, problem solving and meta-cognition, the ongoing analysis of the functioning of thought in uncertain / difficult conditions, in everyday life and in the use of professional skills.
It will be also discussed the relationship between thought and thinking "embedded technologies" that we find around us (from the appliance to the smartphone-computers).


The deduction in the educational context
- Inferences valid and invalid
- Mental logic
- The theory of mental models
- A comparison of mental logic and the theory of mental models

The decision in the educational context
- Moving from a regulatory approach to the descriptive rischione decisions
- A descriptive model of risky choices: the prospect theory
- The frame-effect: how to change the risk appetite
- The decision-making strategies
- The effects of the task representation

Problem solving and creativity in the educational context
- Theoretical approaches to problem solving
- Research Paradigms
- Creativity and scientific discovery

concept formation and categorization processes in the educational context
- The classical theory
- Critical aspects of the classical theory
- The prototype theory
- Criticism of the prototype theory
- The role of naive theories and knowledge of the world
- The functional model of Barsalou

The probabilistic reasoning in the educational context
- The law of large numbers
- The conditional probability
- The fallacy of basic probability
- The over-estimation of their answers
- The Fallacy of the intersection

Judgment and explanation in the educational context
- Perception and causal attribution
- Findings of contingency and causal induction
- Duties, emotions and motivations
- Explanations and thought

The expertise in the educational context
- The research on expertise
- The characteristics of competent performance
- Acquiring expertise

The daily thought in the educational context
- Cognitive psychology of everyday life
- The cognitive activity distributed

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Girotto, Legrenzi Psicologia del pensiero (Edizione 1) il Mulino 1999 88-15-10118-7

Assessment methods and criteria

The teaching methods consist of lectures dedicated to the transmission of the
basic notions (as planned), key categories and fundamental application tools.
Moreover, thanks to the University e-learning platform, specific materials and updating readings of the subject discipline are proposed, where deemed useful.
Furthermore, throughout the academic year, the individual reception service managed by the teacher is available at the times indicated on the web pages (without having to set a specific appointment). Attending students will receive in the first lesson the complete calendar of educational activities with dates and topics covered in the lessons which are provided the timetable, the classroom and the indication of any suspension for academic reasons.
No program distinction is made between attending and non-attending students.

Title: Psicologia del pensiero
Authors: Vittorio Girotto e Paolo Legrenzi
Editor: il Mulino

The exam taken during an official call will consist of a written test with thirty multiple choice questions to be held in 30 minutes (3 alternatives for which only one answer is correct.) For the final judgment expressed in thirtieths, a correct answer has a value equal to 1 point, an incorrect answer has a value equal to 0 points, an answer not given has a value equal to 0 points).