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Mental Image

mental representation of a previously stored sensory experience.
ex. picture in your mind your last vacation


a representation of a group or category that shares similar characteristics
Ex. birds, rivers, beaches

Artificial Concept

formed by logical, specific rules
Ex. our state tree, state bird....

Natural Concepts/Prototypes

representation of the "best" or most typical example of a category.
ex. baseball is a prototype of the concept of sports

3 Step Goal to Problem Solving

1. Preparation
2. Production
3. Evaluation


reviewing, separating facts and defining your goal.


generating the possible solutions to your problem.


logical, step-by-step procedure with a guaranteed result
ex. cooking


narrows possible alternatives but does not guarantee a solution
ex. shortcut

Working Backwards

starts with the solution
ex. starting in the center of a maze

Means-end Analysis

problem solver determines what measure would reduce the difference between the state and the goal. how will I get there? What will get me there fastest?

Creating Subgoals

breaking down complex goals into smaller goals
ex. baby steps

Problem Solving Heuristics

1. working backwards
2. means-end analysis
3. creating subgoals

Mental Sets

refusing to try new strategies
ex. the nine-dot problem

Functional Fixedness

using something only the way we think it was intended.
Ex. using your shoe to swat a fly, using a butter knife to cut a pill in half.

Confirmation Bias

where you seek confirmation of your beliefs or preexisting positions, while ignoring or discounting contradictory evidence.

Barriers to Problem Solving

1. mental sets
2. functional fixedness
3. confirmation bias

Availability Heuristic

judging the likelihood or probability of an event base on how readily available other instance of the even are in memory.
ex. what happens more in the US, murder or suicide?
answer suicide

Representativeness Heuristic

estimating the probability of something based on how well the circumstances match (or present) our previous prototype.
ex. which animal kills more people annually, pig or shark? answer pig


ability to produce valued outcomes in a novel way
1. originality
2. fluency
3. flexibility


what we are biologically born with or "prewired" to develop into. Chompsky's language acquisition device (LAD).

Language Acquisition Device (LAD)

a little box in our heads that Chompsky believed we are all born with that enables a child to analyze language and extract the basic rules of grammar.


how we develop as a result of the people and experiences we have in our lives. (environmental)


smallest unit of sound
ex. stretching out the word


smallest meaningful unit; combination of phonemes
ex. Un think able


system of rules used to generate acceptable language, enabling communication
ex. they were in my psychology class vs. they was in my psychology class.


putting words in the right order
ex. Yoda does not use good syntax :)


using words to create meaning
ex. went out on a limb vs. humans have four limbs


form of communication using sounds and symbols combined according to specified rules.

Stages of Language Development

1. prelinguistic stage
2. linguistic stage

Prelinguistic Stage

crying (birth - 12 months)
cooing (2-3 months)
babbling (4-6 months)

Linguistic Stage

single-utterances (12 months) telegraphic speech, learning the rules of grammar (2-5 years)

Telegraphic Speech

child links several words to create short but intelligible sentences
ex. "me want cookie"


child applying the rules of grammar even to cases that are exceptions to the rule.
ex. "I goed to the zoo"

Nonverbal Language

gestures and body language. Meaning of these vary in different countries.


the ability to use thinking process to cope with the world.
Spearman said intelligence is a single factor, the "g" factor (general intelligence)

3 Part Theory of Intelligence

Sternberg models states that there are 3 separate and different aspects of intelligence.
1. Visual - show me
2. auditory - tell me
3. kinesthetic - let me do it

Fluid Intelligence

innate, inherited reasoning ability, memory and speed of information processing, independent from education and experience.
-tends to decline with age

Crystallized Intelligence

knowledge and skills gained through experience and education
-tends to increase over life span

Cattell's Theories

1. Fluid Intelligence
2. Crystallized Intelligence

Sternberg's Triarchic 3 part Theory

three separate and difference aspects of intelligence. Each part is learned, not the result of genetics. Each can be strengthened and improved
1. Analytical
2. Practical
3. Cognitive


Good at evaluation judgement, and comparison
*all 3 of these tend to overlap and work together


Good at application, implementation, execution, and utilization
*all 3 of these tend to overlap and work together


Good at invention, coping with novelty, and imagination
*all 3 of these tend to overlap and work together

Gardner's Multiple Intelligence

believes people have many kinds of intelligence. People have different profiles of intelligence and are stronger in some area than others.
-linguistic, logical/mathematical, spatical, bodily/kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal
-came up with 2 more.....Naturalistic and Spiritual/existential


word smart
ex. novelist, teacher


logic smart
scientist, engineer


picture smart
engineer, architect


body smart
ex. athletic, dancer


music smart
ex. singer, musician, composer


people smart
ex. salesperson, manager, teacher


self smart
ex. increase success in almost all careers.


attune to nature
ex. biologist, naturalist


attuned to the meaning of life and death
ex. pastor, preists

Individual Intelligence Tests

Stanford-Binet and Wechsler (both compute an IQ)
mental retardation = IQ of 70 or below
giftedness = IQ of 135 or above


established the norms and uniform procedures for giving and scoring tests


measure of the consistence and reproducibility of test scores over time


ability of a test to measure what it was designed to measure

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