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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 of the best example of a category
-matching new items with old. this proves quick and easy method for including items in a category


a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem. contrasts with the usually speedier-but also more error-prone use or heuristics


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 realization of the solution to a problem; contrasts with strategy-based solutions

confirmation bias

a tendency to search for info. 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, often a way that has been successful in the past

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, or math, particuluar prototypes; may lead one to ignore other relevant info

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 a more confident than correct-to over estimate the accuracy of ones beliefs and judgements


the way an issue is posed; this can significantly affect decisions and judgement

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

belief perseverance

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


metal quantity consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situation

factor analysis

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

general intelligence

underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore measure by every task on an intelligence test
-by Spearman

savant syndrome

a condition in which a person otherwise limited in mental capability has an exception specific skill

emotional intelligence

the ablitiy to perceive, understand, manage and use emotions


the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas

intelligence test

a method for assessing an individuals mental aptitudes and comparing them with those of others, using numerical scores
-by Stanford

Alfred Binet

person that said children develop at differenet speeds

mental age

a measure of intelligence test performance devised by Binet; the chronological age that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance.

Louis Terman

person that modified Binets test and made IQ test


the widely used American revision of Binet's original intelligence test

intelligence quotient (IQ)

ratio of mental age to chronological age multiplied by 100. average performance for a given age is assigned a score of 100

aptitude test

a test designed to predict a person's future performance

acheivement test

a test designed to assess what a person has learned

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

host widely used intelligence test; contains verbal and performance


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

normal curve

the symmetrical bell shaped curve that describes the distribution of hpysical and psychological attributues. most scores fall near the average and fewer and fewer near the extremes

mental retardation

a condition of limited mental ability, indicated by an intelligence score of 10 or below and difficulty in adapting to the demands of life; varies from mild to profound

down syndrome

a condition of retardation and associated phsycial disorders caused by an extra chromosome in ones genetic makeup

stereotype threat

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


the extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on 2 halves of the test, on alternate forms of the test, or on retesting


the extent to which a test measures or predicts what its 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 predict; thus, the measure used in defining wether the test has predictive validity

predictive validity

the success with which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict; it is assessed by computing the correlation between test scores and the criterion behavior

triarchic theory

theory proposed by Robert Sternberg that states that intelligence consists of three parts including Analytic = the ability to solve problems, Creative = the ability to deal with new situations, and Practical = the ability to adjust and cope with one's environment

flynn effect

The rise in average IQ scores that has occurred over the decades in many nations

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