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The psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning


Mental representations of categories of items or ideas based on experience


A mental image that incorporates the features we associate with a category (yellow lab, pure bred dog)


Mental shortcuts that help us to streamline our thinking and make sense of our world

Universiality of Prototypes

Prototypes are subject to society's definitions and environment.

Anchoring Heuristic

A mental shortcut that involves basing judgements on existing information

Adjustment Heuristic

When people make decisions, they use anchors to begin their decision process.

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

Representative 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 relevent information

Belief Perseverance

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

Confirmation Bias

Cognitive Error. A tendency to search for information that confirms one's preconceptions

Overconfidence about Decisions

Overestimation of accuracy. Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Basic Characteristics of Language

Symbols, Grammar, Infinite Generativity

Infinite Generativity

The ability to produce an endless number of meaningful sentences using a finite set of words and rules. Infinite generativity is something that all human languages share.

Early Stages of Language Development

The first year: Babbling, Receptive vs productive language, One-word stage
The second year: Rapid acceleration, Telegraphic speech, Overgeneralizing rules

Language Acquisition (Behavioralist)

Conditioning and Reinforcement, Imitation

Language Acquisition (Biological)

Noam Chomsky, Critical/sensitive period, Feral children, Second language

Noam Chomsky

Theorist who believed that humans have an inborn or "native" propensity to develop language. (Native = Nature).

Critical/Sensitive Period

Infantile Period when an individual develops basis for language

Whorfian Hypothesis

The nature of a particular language influences the habitual thought of its speakers. Language influences Thought. [Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis]

Double Speak

Language that is intended to be evasive or to conceal. Ex. "downsized" actually means fired or loss of job.

Masculine Generic

The use of masculine nouns and pronouns to refer to all human beings, instead of males alone

Truly Generic


Benefits of Bilingualism

Cognitive Flexibilty

Language Abilities of Animals

Animals are capable of communicating. Apes can exhibit insight, show family loyalty, communicate with one another, display altruism, transmit cultural patterns, and even comprehend the syntax of human speech.

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