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


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


a mental image or best example of a category


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


a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently; usually speedier but also more error-prone than algorithms. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 398)


a sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem

Confirmation bias

a tendency to search for information that confirms one's preconceptions


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

Mental set

A tendency to approach a problem in a particular way, especially a way that has been successful in the past but may or may not be helpful in solving a new problem

Belief perseverance

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


knowing or sensing something without the use of reason; an insight

Functional fixedness

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

Representativeness heuristic

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

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


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


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

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


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


in a language, the smallest distinctive sound unit


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


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


The study of meaning in language.


studies of the rules for forming admissible sentences

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 1 to 2, during which a childspeaks mostly in single words.

Two-word stage

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

Telegraphic speech

early speech stage in which a child speaks like a telegram--'go car'--using mostly nouns and verbs and omitting 'auxiliary' words


impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area (impairing speaking) or to wernicke's area (impairing understanding)

Broca's area

controls language expression-an aread of the frontal, usually in the 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 relativity

Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think

Artificial Intelligence

the science of designing and programming computer systems to do intelligent things and to simulate human thought processes suchs as reasoning and understanding language

Computer Neural Networks

Computer circuits that mimic the brain's interconnected neural cells, performing tasks such as learning to recognize visual patterns and smells

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