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Review for AP Psych test

Key features of language

-arbitrary (rarely sound like their meanings)
- has additive structure (words = sentences = paragraph)
- can be analyzed in various ways
- is productive (nearly endless combos of words)
- dynamic, constantly changing, evolving


smallest units of speech sounds in a given language


smallest semantically meaningful parts of language


set of rules by which language is constructed, made of syntax and semantics


tones and inflections added to language that elaborate meaning with no world alterations


word order


word meaning or word choice

Language stages

Cooing, babbling, holophrases (single term applied to various things)


using one word to describe a lot of things that require a greater vocabulary

telegraphic speech

two or three word groups
"Mommy, food" AKA "Mommy, give me food"


grammar rules extended to unique situations

Transformational Grammar

Developed by Noam Chomsky, describes organization of language which differentiates superficial of word arrangement and the meaning of the words

surface vs deep structure of language

word order vs. meaning of words

Theory of linguistic relativity

Developed by Benjamin Lee Whorf, Edward Sapir, says speakers of different languages develop different cognitive systems


Degree to which an object fits the average


Typical picture that describes something

Superordinate concept

very broad and encompasses a large group of items (food)

Basic concept

smaller and more specific (bread)

Subordinate concept

an even smaller and more specific concept like "Rye bread"


drawing of conclusion from evidence

Deductive Reasoning

drawing logical conclusions from general statements

Inductive Reasoning

drawing general conclusion from specific observations

Convergent thinking

requires specific thinking to find one answer that works the best

Divergent thinking

like brainstorming, formulating various ways to solve a problem


intuitive shortcuts

Availability heuristic

rule of thumb is judged by what events come most to mind (airplanes are more dangerous than cars)

Representativeness heuristic

judge objects and events in terms of how closely they match their prototype (putting everything in a little box, discrimination)


systematic, mechanical approaches that guarantee an eventual answer to a problem

Wolfgang Kohler

showed brain uses insight ( sudden understanding of problem) to solve problems

Mental set

fixed frame of mind that we use when approaching problems

Confirmation bias

search for information that supports our hypothesis or wish

Hindsight Bias

tendency to think we would have acted perfectly once looking back or knowing all the facts

Belief perseverance

person only sees evidence that supports a particular position


process of producing something unique

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