PSYC 1 Chapter 7 Language & Thought

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Language

A system for communicating with others using signals that convey meaning and are combined according to rules of grammar

Phoneme

The smallest unit of sound that is recognizable as speech rather than as random noise.

Phonological Rules

A set of rules that indicate how phonemes can be combined to produce speech sounds.

Morphemes

The smallest meaningful units of language.

Grammar

A set of rules that specify how the units of language can be combined to produced meaningful messages.

Morphological Rules

A set of rules that indicate how morphemes can be combined to form phrases and sentences.

Syntactical Rules

A set of rules that indicate how words can be combined to form phrases and sentences.

Deep Structure

The meaning of a sentence.
Semantic refers to meaning.

Surface Structure

How a sentence is worded.

Fast Mapping

The fact that children can map a word onto an underlying concept after only a single exposure.

Telegraphic Speech

Speech that is devoid of function morphemes and consists mostly of content words.

Nativist Theory

The view that language development is best explained as an innate, biological capacity.

Language Acquisition Device LAD

A collection of processes that facilitate language learning.
Noam Chompsky

Genetic Dysphasia

A syndrome characterized by an inability to learn the grammatical structure of language despite having otherwise normal intelligence.

Aphasia

Difficulty in producing or comprehending language.

Linguist Relativity Hypothesis

The proposal that language shapes the nature of thought.

Concept

An abstract mental representation that groups or categorizes shared features of related object, events, or other stimuli.

Category-Specific Deficit

A neurological syndrome that is characterized by an inability to recognize objects that belong to a particular category while leaving the ability to recognize objects outside the category undisturbed.

Family Resemblance Theory

Members of a category have features that appear to be characteristic of category members but may not be possessed by every member.

Prototype

The "best" or "most typical member" of a category.

Exemplar Theory

A theory of categorization that argues that we make category judgments by comparing a new instance with stored memories for other instances of the category.

Rational Choice Theory

The classical view that we make decisions by determining how likely something is to happen, judging the value of the outcome, and then multiplying the two.

Availability Bias

Items that are more readily available in memory are judged as having occurred more frequently.

Heuristic

A fast and efficient strategy that may facilitate decision making but does not guarantee that a solution will be reached

Algorithms

A well defined sequence of procedures or rules that guarantees a solution to a problem.

Representativeness Heuristic

A mental shortcut that involves making a probability judgment by comparing an object or event to a prototype of the object or event.

Sunk-Cost Fallacy

A framing effect in which people make decision about a current situation based on what they have previously invested in the situation.

Conjunction Fallacy

When people think that two events are more likely to occur together than either individual event.

Prospect Theory

Proposes that people choose to take on risk when evaluation potential losses and avoid risks when evaluation potential gains.

Frequency Format Hypothesis

The proposal that our minds evolved to notice how frequently things occur, not how likely they are to occur.

Means-Ends Analysis

A process of searching for the means or steps to reduce differences between the current situation and the desired goal.

Analogical Problem Solving

Solving a problem by finding a similar problem with a known solution to that current problem.

Functional Fixedness

The tendency to perceive the function of objects as fixed.

Reasoning

A mental activity that consists of organizing information or beliefs into a series of steps to reach conclusions.

Practical Reasoning

Figuring out what to do or reasoning directed toward action.

Theoretical Reasoning

Reasoning directed toward arriving at a belief.

Belief Bias

People's judgments about whether to accept conclusions depend more on how believable the conclusions are than on whether the arguments are logically valid.

Syllogistic Reasoning

Determining whether a conclusion follows from two statement that assumed to be true.

Expressive vocabulary

what you used in speech or writing

Receptive vocabulary

what you understand when someone speaks

Babbling

early sounds babies make spontaneously which include all phonemes
universal across cultures

How we learn language

10-12 months begin to use single words.
12-18 months are able to use 20-30 words
At age 2
Most speak 3-word sentences.
24-36 months have a vocabulary of 1000 words
age 5
Understand the meaning of about 2000 words
age 6
Have almost all basic rules of grammar
age 10
Can produce about 20,000 to 30,000 words daily

Perceptual Concept

based on physical similarities instead of language
Schema: an alternative term for a Perceptual Concept.

Symbolic Concept

mental representation of the similarities among objects & events, based on language.

Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis / Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

(also known as the Whorfian Hypothesis or the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis)
says that people who use different languages have different ways of looking at the world, organizing it, and thinking about it.
Edward Sapir
Benjamin Lee Whorf

Pragmatics

effects of social context
language changes within the social situation

Inference

is a mental process of drawing logical conclusions from facts you already know.

Washoe

a research chimp worked with by Sue Savage Rumbaugh,
learned to communicate by using a geometric keyboard system.

Semantic

refers to meaning of words

Broca's Area

if damaged, patients have a hard time producing sentences.

Wernicke's area

if damaged, patients can produce sentences but the tend to be meaningless.

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