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linguistic determination

Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think

Wernicke's area

controls language reception-a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe

Broca's area

controls language expression-an area of the frontal lobe, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech


impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area or to Wernicke's area

telegraphic speech

early speech stage in which a child speaks like a telegram using mostly nouns and verbs

two-word stage

beginning about age 2, the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly two-word statements

one-word stage

the stage in speech development, from about age 1 to 2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words

babbling stage

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


the rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences in a given language


the set of rules by which we derive meaning from morphemes, words, and sentences in a given language; also, the study of meaning


in a language, a system of rules that enables us to communicate and understand others


in a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning; may be a word or a part of a word (such as a prefix)


in language, the smallest distinctive sound unit


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


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


an effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or thought, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning

belief perseverance

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


the tendency to be more confident than correct-to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgments

availability heuristic

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

representatives heuristic

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

functional fixedness

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

mental set

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


the inability to see a problem from a new perspective, by employing a different mental set

confirmation bias

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


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


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


a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem. contrasts with the use of heuristics


a mental image or best example of a category. matching new items to it provides a quick and easy method for sorting items into categories


a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people


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

Linguistic relativism

Different languages have their own words and concepts and these limit thinking processes


Language designed to alter our perception of reality and influence our thinking


A positive phrase used to avoid a negative reality


Specialized language for a trade or profession that influences our thinking


Piling on words to overwhelm an audience

Inflated language

Using words to attempt to make the ordinary seem extraordinary

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