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Vocab for the chapter~ ^-^


the mental activities involved in acquiring, retaining, and using knowledge


the manipulation of mental representations of information in order to draw inferences and conclusions

Mental images

a mental representation of objects or events that are not physically present

Formal concept

a mental category that is formed by learning the rules or features that define it

Natural concept

a mental category that is formed as result of everyday experience


the most typical instance of a particular concept


individual instances of a particular concept or category held in memory

Problem solving

thinking and behavior directed toward attaining a goal that is not readily available

Trial and error

a problem solving strategy that involves attempting different solutions and eliminating those that do not work


a problem solving strategy that involves following a specific rule, procedure or method that inevitably produces the correct solution


a problem solving strategy that involves following a general rule of thumb to reduce the number of possible solutions


the sudden realization of how a problem can be solved


coming to a conclusion or making a judgement without conscious awareness of the thought processes involved

Functional fixedness

the tendency to view objects a functioning only in their usual or customary way.

Mental set

tendency to persist in solving problems with solutions that have worked in the past.

Availability heuristic

a strategy in which the likelihood of an event is estimated on the basis of how readily available other instances of the event are in memory

Representative heuristic

a strategy in which the likelihood of an event is estimated by comparing how similar it is to the prototype of the event


a system for combining arbitrary symbols to produce an infinite number of meaningful statements

Linguistic relativity hypothesis

the hypothesis that differences among languages causes differences in the thought of their speakers

Animal cognition

study of animal learning, memory, thinking, and language; also called "Comparative cognition"


the global capacity to think rationally, act purposefully, and deal effectively with the environment

Mental age

a measurement of intelligence in which an individual's mental level is expressed in terms of the average abilities of the given age group

Intelligence quotient (IQ)

a measure of general intelligence derived by comparing an individual score with the scores of the other in the same age group

Achievement test

a test designed to measure a person's level of knowledge, skill, or accomplishment in a particular area

Aptitude test

a test designed to assess a person's capacity to benefit from education or training.


the percentage of variation within a given population that is due to heredity

Stereotype threat

a psychological predicament in which fear that you will be evaluated in terms of a negative stereotype about a group to which you belong creates anxiety and self doubt, lowering performance in a particular domain that is important to you


a group of cognitive processes used to generate useful, original, and novel ideas or solutions to problems

Claude Steele

psychologist who discovered if those expectations are negative, being aware of that fact can cause you to perform below your actual ability level

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