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Reasoning, Judging, Deciding

Reasoning, Judging, Deciding
The Science of Thinking

432 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Are humans effective thinkers? How do we decide what is right? Can we avoid being duped by fake news?

Thinking and Reasoning is the study of how humans think; exploring rationality, decision making and judgment within all contexts of life. With contemporary case studies and reflective questions to develop your understanding of key dilemmas, this book covers the fundamentals of the science behind thinking, reasoning, and decision-making, making it essential reading for any student of Thinking and Reasoning.

From heuristic biases to the cognitive science of religion, and from artificial intelligence to conspiracy theories, Wastell & Howarth’s text clearly and comprehensibly introduces you to the core theories of thinking, leaving no stone unturned, before showing you how to apply theory to practice.

‘The unique selling point of the book is the inclusion of current topics and recent developments, a very good structure and it approaches the field from a very wide angle.’

Chapter 1. Inheritors of the Enlightenment
Chapter 2. A Cognitive Revolution? When the mind began to matter!
Chapter 3. Thinking Under Uncertainty: Expected Utility Theory
Chapter 4. Prospect Theory: Heuristics and some biases
Chapter 5. Ecological Rationality: Are humans effective thinkers?
Chapter 6. Dual Process Models: Is the mind made up of two components?
Chapter 7. Mind: Modular and Extended: Is the mind made up of many components, internal and external?
Chapter 8. Deduction, Induction, Abduction: Reasoning formal and speculative
Chapter 9. Problem Solving Including Analogical Reasoning: Learning to answer the question that is asked!
Chapter 10. Imagination: The play space of the mind
Chapter 11. Nudge: Making good outcomes more common
Chapter 12. Expertise: How do experts think?
Chapter 13. Moral Reasoning: How do people decide on what is right?
Chapter 14. Cognitive Science of Religion: What can models of the mind tell us about belief in the supernatural?
Chapter 15. Artificial Intelligence: Computer thinking: What kind of thinking can computers really do?
Chapter 16. Argumentative Theory: Is the construction of arguments central to human thinking?
Chapter 17. Three Thinking Illusions: How much of our thinking is done alone?
Chapter 18. Thinking and Uncertainty: What effect does not knowing for certain have on our thinking?
Chapter 19. Thinking Scientifically: Easy or hard?
Chapter 20. Conspiratorial Thinking: Why are people so suspicious of governments and big business?
Chapter 21. Sceptical Thinking: How to avoid being duped by fake news!

"Thinking is the most fun you can have on your own, but we all do it differently. This book is an entertaining guide down the rabbit hole so that we can find out how we think about thinking and what we think about it. There is no doubt that this will help us understand not only ourselves but others too." 

Amanda Ellison
Durham University

"A very engaging book that gives a comprehensive overview of the topics in thinking. I like in particular the theory centred approach endorsed, and that the authors show how arguments shape theories and how theories develop and progress over time."

Gernot Horstmann
Bielefeld University

Colin Wastell

Dr Colin Wastell has been teaching and researching in the area of human thinking for the past 15 years. His interests in the field are diverse. He has published on the concept of the modularity of the mind as well as the thinking processes that underly belief in the supernatural.  More About Author

Stephanie Howarth

Dr Stephanie Howarth is a cognitive research psychologist from the UK. Born in Surrey, she grew up in the midlands and then spent most of her adult years in Devon. Intrigued by the application of hypnosis she trained and practiced as a clinical hypnotherapist for several years before focusing on research. She was awarded a scholarship at Plymouth University to complete her PhD in the area of reasoning, with a focus on belief bias. In 2016 she moved to Sydney to continue her research career at Macquarie University, where she is currently involved in various threads of research relevant to thinking, reasoning and decision making. More About Author