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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


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

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

functional fixedness

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

representative heuristic

judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent particular prototypes

availability heuristic

estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory


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


the way an issue is posed

belief perseverance

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


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

babbling stage

beginning by 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 child speaks 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

linguistic determinism

Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think


the mental abilities needed to select, adapt to, and shape environments

mental age

a measure of intelligence test performance devised by Binet


the widely used American revision (by Terman at Stanford University) of Binet's original intelligence test

intelligence quotient

defined originally as the ratio of mental age to the chronological age multiplied by 100

factor analysis

a statistical procedure that identifies clusters of related items (called factors) on a test; used to identify different dimensions of performance that underlie one's total score

general intelligence

a general intelligence factor that Spearman and others believed underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore measured by every task on an intelligence test

savant syndrome

a condition in which a person otherwise limited in mental ability has an exceptional specific skill

emotional intelligence

the ability to perceive, express, understand, and regulate emotions


the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

the WAIS is the most widely used intelligence test; contains verbal and performance (nonverbal) subtests

aptitude test

a test designed to predict a person's future performance

achievement test

a test designed to assess what a person has learned


defining meaningful scores by comparison with the performance of a pretested "standardization group"

normal curve

the symmetrical bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes


the extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistent results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on two halves of the test, on alternate forms of the test, or on retesting


the extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to

content validity

the extent to which a test samples the behavior that is of interest


the behavior that a test is designed to assessed

predictive validity

the success with which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict


the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes

stereotype threat

a self-confirming concern that one will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype

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