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mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating


mental grouping of similar objects/events/ideas/people


mental image/best example of a category; matching new items to the prototype provides quick/easy method for including items in a category


methodical, logical rule of procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem


simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently


sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem; the "ah-ha" moment

confirmation bias

tendency to search for information that confirms one's preconceptions


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

mental set

tendency to approach a problem in a particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past

functional fixedness

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

representativeness heuristic

judging likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent/match particular prototypes; may lead one to ignore other relevant info

availability heuristic

estimating likelihood of events based on their availability in memory; if instances come readily to mind, we presume such events are common


tendency to be more confident than correct-- to overestimate the accuracy of one's beliefs/judgments


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

belief bias

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


our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning


in language, the smallest distinctive sound unit; 40 in the English language; ex--ch, a, t, sh


in language; the smallest unit to carry meaning; ex-- prefixes and suffixes


in language; system of rules that enable understandable communication


set of rules by which we derive meaning from morphemes/words/sentences; the study of meaning


rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences

babbling stage

beginning at about 4 months, the stage of speech development in which the infant simultaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to the household language

one-word stage

stage in speech development, from about 1-2 yrs, during which the child speaks mostly single words

two-word stage

beginning about age 2, stage in speech development during which child speaks mostly in 2-word phrases

telegraphic speech

early speech stage in which a child speaks like a telegram, using mostly verbs and nouns (ex-- "want juice")

linguistic determinism

Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think

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