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41 terms

A.P. Psychology: Chapter 9 - Thinking and Language

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cognition
all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
concept
a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people
prototype
a mental image or best example of a category. provides a quick and easy method for sorting items into categories
algorithm
a methodical, logical rule of procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem; contrast with the usual speedier --but also more error prone - use of heuristics
heuristics
a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently: usually speedier but more error prone than algorithms ("rule of thumb")
insight
a sudden, often novel realization of a solution to a problem; it contrasts with a strategy-based solution
confirmation bias
a tendancy to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence
fixation
the inability to see a problem from a new perspective, by employing a different mental set
mental set
a tendency to approach a problem in one particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past
functional fixedness
the tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual function; the impediment to problem-solving
representative 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 information
availability heuristic
estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability 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 our beliefs and judgments
belief perseverance
clinging to ones initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited
framing
the way an issue is posed; how an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgments
language
our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning
phoneme
in language, the smallest distinctive sound unit
morpheme
in a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning; may be a word, or part of a word (such as a prefix)
grammar
in a language, a system of rules that enable us to communicate with and understand others
semantics
the set of rules by which we derive meaning from morphemes, words, and sentences in a given language; also, the study of meaning
syntax
the rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences in a given language
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
one-word stage
the stage in speech development, from about age 1-2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words
two-word stage
beginning at about age 2, the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly two word statements
aphasia
impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage, either to Broca's area (impairing speech) or to Wernicke's area (impairing understanding)
Broca's area
controls language experssion - an area of the frontal lobe, usually in left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech
Wernicke's area
controls language reception - a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe
linguistic determinism
Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think
analogical representation
A mental representation that has some of the physical characteristics of an object; it is analogous to the object.
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
Noam Chomsky
"father of language research" - humans have a universal grammar device that predisposes us to learn language. [deep structure = true meaning, surface structure = grammar of learned language]
cognitive dissonance
The theory that we act to reduce the discomfort we feel when two of our thoughts are inconsistent. For example, when our awareness of our attitudes and our actions clash, we can reduce the resulting dissonance by changing our attitudes.
creativity
the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas
critical periods
times during which certain environmental influences can have an impact on the development of the infant
deductive reasoning
reasoning in which a conclusion is reached by stating a general principle and then applying that principle to a specific case (The sun rises every morning; therefore, the sun will rise on Tuesday morning.)
defining attribute model
The idea that a concept is characterized by a list of features that are necessary to determine if an object is a member of the category.
inductive reasoning
deriving general principles from particular facts or instances ("Every cat I have ever seen has four legs; cats are four-legged animals").
linguistic relativism
The worldview of a culture is shaped and reflected by the language its members speak.
restructuring
a new way of thinking about a problem that aids its solution
stereotype threat
the apprehension experienced by members of a group that their behavior might confirm a cultural stereotype
symbolic representation
an abstract mental representation that does not correspond to the physical features of an object or idea