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concepts

mental categories for classifying events, objects, and ideas on the basis of their common features or properties

prototypes

A mental image that incorporates the features we associate with a category (yellow lab, pure bred dog)

algorithm

a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem. Contrasts with the usually speedier -- but also more error-prone -- use of heuristics

heuristic

a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently; usually speedier but also more error-prone than algorithms

insight

a sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem; it contrasts with strategy-based solutions

confirmation bias

a tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence

mental set

A tendency to approach a problem in a particular way, especially a way that has been successful in the past but may or may not be helpful in solving a new problem

functional fixedness

the tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions; an impediment to problem solving.

representativeness heuristic

judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes; may lead one to ignore other relevant information

availability heuristic

estimating the likelihood of events based on their accessibility in memory; if instances come readily to mind (perhaps because of their vividness), we presume such events are common

overconfidence

the tendency to be more confident than correct—to overestimate the accuracy of one's beliefs and judgments.

framing

the way an issue is posed; how an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgments

belief bias

The tendency for one's preexisting beliefs to distort logical reasoning, sometimes by making invalid conclusions seem valid, or valid conclusions seem invalid.

belief perseverance

clinging to one's initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited.

Alfred Binet

1857-1911; Field: testing; Contributions: general IQ tests, designed test to identify slow learners in need of remediation-not applicable in the U.S. because too culture-bound (French)

mental age

a measure of intelligence test performance devised by Binet; the chronological age that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance. Thus, a child who does as well as the average 8-year-old is said to have a _______ of 8.

Louis Terman

revised Binet's IQ test and established norms for American children, a Stanford professor who believed "children of successful and cultured parents test higher than children from wretched and ignorant homes for the simple reason that their heredity is better."

Stanford-intelligence test

An adaptation of Binet's test by Stanford University psychologist Lewis Terman, this was for many years the standard for intelligence tests in the U.S.

Binet IQ test

Visual coordination, verbal knowledge, knowledge of objects in pictures, perceptual discrimination, definitions, visual memory, sentence completion, comprehension

intelligence quotient

defined originally as the ratio of mental age (ma) to chronological age (ca) multiplied by 100 (thus, IQ = ma/ca × 100). On contemporary intelligence tests, the average performance for a given age is assigned a score of 100.

intelligence

mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations

reification

giving an abstract concept a name and then treating it as though it were a concret, tangible object

fixation

the inability to see a problem from a new perspective; an impediment to problem solving

factor analysis

a statistical procedure that identifies clusters of related items on a test; used to identify different dimensions of performance that underlie a person's total score

general intelligence (g)

a general intelligence factor that according to Spearman and others underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore measured by every task on an intelligence test.

Charles Spearman

intelligence; found that specific mental talents were highly correlated, concluded that all cognitive abilities showed a common core which he labeled 'g' (general ability)

Howard Gardner

devised theory of multiple intelligences: logical-mathematic, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, linguistic, musical, interpersonal, naturalistic

multiple intelligences

Howard Gardner proposes that all humans are endowed with seven forms of intelligence: mathematical/logical, linguistic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, spatial, and kinesthetic. Schools usually emphasize the linguistic and mathematical/logical intelligences.

savant syndrome

a condition in which a person otherwise limited in mental ability has an exceptional specific skill, such as in computation or drawing.

Robert Sternberg

intelligence; devised the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence (academic problem-solving, practical, and creative)

triarchic theory

theory proposed by Robert Sternberg that states that intelligence consists of three parts including Analytic, Creative and Practical

emotional intelligence

the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions.

aptitude tests

A test designed to predict a person's future performance

achievement tests

tests designed to assess what a person has learned

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

This is the most widely used intelligence test; contains verbal and performance (nonverbal) subtests.

WISC

An IQ test designed for school-age ochildren. The test assesses potential in many areas, including vocabulary, general knowledge, memory, and spatial comprehension

standardization

defining meaningful scores by comparison with the performance of a pretested group

normal curve

the symmetrical bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes. Most scores fall near the average, and fewer and fewer scores lie near the extremes.

Flynn effect

the worldwide phenomenon that shows intelligence test performance has been increasing over the years

reliability

the extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on two halves of the test, on alternate forms of the test, or on retesting.

validity

The extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to.

content validity

the extent to which a test samples the behavior that is of interest (such as a driving test that samples driving tasks).

criterion

standard; basis for judgment

predictive validity

the success with which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict; it is assessed by computing the correlation between test scores and the criterion behavior. (Also called criterion-related _____.)

mental retardation

a condition of limited mental ability, indicated by an intelligence score of 70 or below and difficulty in adapting to the demands of life; varies from mild to profound.

stereotype threat

a self-confirming concern that one will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype.

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