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all the mental activities associated with processing, understanding, remembering, and communicating


mental groupings of similar objects, events, and people


to simplify things further we organize concepts into ____.


a mental image or best example that incorporates all the features we associate with a category

Oliver Corneille

found memory shifts after showing belgian students ethnically mixed faces.


a step by step procedure that guarantees a solution


A simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgements and solve problems efficiently; usually speedier but also more error-prone than algorithms


a sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem; it contrasts with strategy based solutions


Jognny Appleton displayed insight when he figured out how to save a young robin that had fallen into a narrow 30 inch deep hole in a cement block wall. Johnny's solution was to slowly pour sand in the hole.

Mark Jung-Beeman, Johm Kounious, and Edward Bowden

identified brain activity associated with sudden flashes of insight. The sudden insight showed a burst of activity in the right temporal lobe.

confirmation bias

a tendancy to search for info that confirms one's preconceptions


the inability to swee a jproblem from a fresh perspective is a true impediment to problem solving

mental set

refers to our tendency to approach a problem with the mindset of what has worked for us previously

funtional fixedness

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

The representative heuristic

the liklihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes; may lead one to ignore other relevent info.

The Availability Heuristic

estimating the liklihood of events based on their availability in memory; if instances come readily to mind we presume such events are common.

over confidence

a tendancy to overestimate the accuracy of our knowledge and judgements

Kahneman and Tversky

ran a study over confidence: they asked people to answer questions with a wide enough range to include the actual answer. Most answered incorrect but were certain they were correct


the way an issue is posed; how an issure is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgements.

Belief Bias

the tendancy for one's pre existing beliefs to distort logical reasoning sometimes by making invalid conclusions seem valid, or vice versa

The Belief Perseverance phenomenon

our tendancy to cling to our beliefs in the face of contrary evidence.


in 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. combos of two or more phonemes


a sustem of rules in a given language that enables us to communicate with and undertstand others


the set of rules we sue to derive meaning from morphemes, words, and even sentences.


refers to the rused we use to order words into sentences

receptive language

babies' ability to comprehend speech

Babbling stage

begins at about 4 months of age, the stage of speech develpment in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to the house hold language


the stage in speech development from about age 1-2 during which a child speaks mostly in single words


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

telegraphic speech

early speach stage in which a child speaks like a telegram "go car" usually mostly nouns and verbs and omitting auxillary words.

Skinner: Operant Learning/Nature

believed that we can explain language development with familiar learning principals, such as association; imitation; and reinforcement

Chomsky: Inborn Universal Grammar/Nurture

children acquire untaught words and grammar at a rate of extraordinary to be explained soley by learning principles

Jenny Saffron

exposed 8 month old infants to a computer voice speaking an unproken, monotone string of nonsense syllables. The infants were able to recognize 3 syllable sequences that appeared repeatedly

critical period

childhood is the period for mastering language

Jaqueline Johnson and Elissa Newport

tested Korean and Chinese Imigrants on an english grammar test, requiring them to ID each of 276 sentences is gramatically correct or incorrect. Those who immigrated as children performed better.

Linguist Determination

Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think

Michael Ross, Elaine Xun, and Anne Wilson

invited china born, bilingual students to describe themselves in english or Chinese. English expressed mostly positive self-statements and moods. Chinese reported more agreement with values and roughly equal positive and negative self-statements and moods

Bilingual Advantage

children who learn o inhibit one language while using their other language are also better able to inhibit their attention to irrelevant info.

Georgia Nigro

had half a group throw 24 darts and the other half practice mentally and then had them all throw 24 darts. The ones who practiced mentally performed better.


observed that chimps display animal cognition when Sultan the chimp solved a basic problem

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