How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

Chapter 9 - Thinking and Language

STUDY
PLAY
Concepts
a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people
Prototype
a mental image or best example of a category. This provides a quick and easy way to categorize new stimuli
Algorithms
a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem. Not as fast as the use of heuristics, but more accurate
Heuristics
a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently
Insight
a sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem; it contrasts with strategy-based solutions
Confirmation bias
a tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence
Fixation
the inability to see a problem from a fresh perspective.
Mental set
a tendency to approach a problem in one particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past
Functional fixedness
a tendency to think of only the familiar functions for objects, without imagining alternative uses
Representativeness heuristic
judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes. This may lead to ignorance of other relative 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 one's initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited
Intuition
an effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or though, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning
Framing
the way an issue is presented
Language
our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning
Phonemes
in language, the smallest distinctive sound unit. For example, chat has three - ch, a, and t.
Morpheme
in a language, the smallest unit that carries a meaning; may be a word or a part of a word, such as a prefix or suffix
Grammar
a system of rules that enable us to communicate with and understand each other.
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
Receptive language
an infant's ability to comprehend speech. Begins very early and by about seven months, they can segment spoken sounds into individual words
Productive language
a baby's ability to produce words
Babbling stage
beginning at about four 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 one to two during which a child speaks mostly in single words
Two-word stage
beginning at about age two, 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
Skinner and Operant learning
the theory that language development comes from association (the sights of things with the sounds of words), imitation (of the words and syntax modeled by others), and reinforcement (smiles and hugs from parents when something is said correctly
Chomsky and inborn universal grammar
the theory that, given adequate nurture, language will occur naturally. This theory comes from the fact that children learn untaught words and grammar at an incredibly fast rate and they generate sentences they've never heard, some with errors like adding -ed to make things past tense
Aphasia
impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage to either Broca's area (speaking) or to Wernicke's area (understanding)
Broca's area
an area of the frontal lobe, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movement involved in speech
Wernicke's area
an area usually in the left temporal lobe that is involved in language comprehension and expression
Angular gyrus
an area in the brain that receives visual information and recodes it into auditory form
Linguistic determinism
Benjamin Lee Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think