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a step-by-step procedure that guarantees an answer; long, tedious, and very slow, but very accurate


a commonsense thinking strategy; using judgments to solve problems quickly; speedy, but less accurate

mental set

a tendency to repeat a solution SET that has worked before; type of fixation; predisposes how we think

functional fixedness

the tendency to perceive the FUNCTION of objects as FIXED and good for only one thing; to think of things only in terms of their usual function (ex. a pencil is only for writing)

representativeness heuristic

judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they represent our prototypes; stereotyping (ex. Vincent is tall, thin, and enjoys poetry. Is he a truck driver or professor?)

availability heuristic

judging the likelihood of events based on how well remember them; how available our memories are (ex. James fears planes because of 9/11, but he doesn't fear car accidents even though they're much more likely)


the way an issue is presented (ex. 75% lean meat sells better than 25% fat meat)


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


one of two grammar types; the rules and study of Meaning (ex. '-ed' means 'laughed' happened in the past)


one of two grammar types; rules for word order; sentence structure (ex. adjectives come before nouns)

babbling stage

beginning at 3 to 4 months, babies utter meaningless sounds (ex. goo-goo-gah-gah!)

one-word stage

beginning at age ONE to 2; child speaks mostly in ONE word; usually contain ONE syllable (ex. ma)

two-word stage

beginning at age TWO; child speaks mostly TWO words sentences; uses telegraphic speech

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