all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating.
a mental image or best example of a category. Matching new items to the prototype provides a quick and easy method for including items in a category (as when comparing feathered creatures to a prototypical bird, such as a robin).
a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem. Contrasts with the usually speedier -- but also more error-prone -- use of heuristics.
a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments 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.
Confirmation Bias (292)
a tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence.
the inability to see a problem from a new perspective; an impediment to problem solving.
Mental Set (294)
a tendency to approach a problem in a particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past.
Representativeness Heuristic (294)
judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes; may lead one to ignore other relevant information.
Availability Heuristic (294)
estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory; if instances come readily to mind (perhaps because of their vividness), we presume such events are common.
the tendency to be more confident than correct--to overestimate the accuracy of one's beliefs and judgments.
Belief Perserverence (296)
Clinging to one's initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited.
an effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or thought, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning.
the way an issue is posed; how an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgments.
our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning.
Babbling Stage (302)
beginning at 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 (302)
the stage in speech development, from about age 1 to 2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words.
Two-Word Stage (302)
beginning about age 2, the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly two-word statements.
Telegraphic Speech (302)
early speech stage in which a child speaks like a telegram- "go car" -using mostly nouns and verbs.
mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations.
General Intelligence (g) (314)
a general intelligence factor that, according to Spearman and others, underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore measured by every task on an intelligence test.
Factor Analysis (314)
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.
Savant Syndrome (314)
a condition in which a person otherwise limited in mental ability has an exceptional specific skill, such as in computation or drawing.
Intelligence Test (318)
a method for assessing an individual's mental aptitudes and comparing them with those of others, using numerical scores.
Mental Age (318)
a measure of intelligence test performance devised by Binet; the chronological age that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance. Thus, a child who does as well as the average 8-year-old is said to have a mental age of 8.
the widely used American revision (by Terman at Stanford University) of Binet's original intelligence test.
Intelligence Quotient (IQ) (318)
defined originally as the ratio of mental age (ma) to chronological age (ca) multiplied by 100 [thus, IQ = (ma/ca) x 100]. On contemporary intelligence tests, the average performance for a given age is assigned a score of 100.
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) (320)
the WAIS is the most widely used intelligence test; contains verbal and performance (nonverbal) subtests.
defining meaningful scores by comparison with the performance of a pretested group.
Normal Curve (321)
the symmetrical bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes. Most scores fall near the average, and fewer and fewer scores lie near the extremes.
the extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on two halves of the test, or on retesting.
Predictive Validity (323)
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.
(formerly referred to as mental retardation) a condition of limited mental ability, indicated by an intelligence score of 70 or below and difficulty in adapting to the demands of life; varies from mild to profound.
a condition of mild to severe intellectual disability and associated physical disorders caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21.
The proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. The heritability of a trait may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.
Stereotype Threat (333)
a self-confirming concern that one will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype.
Professor Pegler's research efforts focus on how the use of heuristics influences the way people assess financial risks. Which specialty area does his research best represent?
During his early school years, Charlie got away with copying his test answers from classmates. Because the university has test proctors who are very observant, Charlie spends as many hours devising new ways to cheat as it would take him to study and perform well in an honest fashion. Charlie's strategy for passing tests illustrates the consequences of
By encouraging people to imagine their homes being destroyed by winds from a hurricane, insurance salespeople are especially successful at selling large homeowners' policies. They are most clearly exploiting the influence of
The Belief Perserverence Phenomenon
Andre first became suspicious of his roommate's honesty when he could not find his wallet. Although Andre later recalled that he had left his wallet in the glove compartment of his own car, his newly formed doubt about his roommate's honesty remained as strong as ever. Andre's irrational suspicion of his roommate best illustrates
On Monday, the meteorologist forecast a 20 percent chance of rain, so Sheryl took her umbrella to work. On Friday, he reported an 80 percent chance that it would not rain, so Sheryl left her umbrella at home. Sheryl's behavior illustrates the effect of
Someone With Savant Syndrome
Twenty-five-year-old Alexandra is mentally handicapped and can neither read nor write. However, after hearing lengthy, unfamiliar, and complex musical selections just once, she can reproduce them precisely on the piano. It is likely that Alexandra is
Although Nicole scored well above average on an academic aptitude test, she frequently loses her temper and needlessly antagonizes even her best friends. Her behavior best illustrates a low level of
The distribution of intelligence test scores in the general population forms a bell-shaped pattern. This pattern is called a
Your psychology professor has announced that the next test will assess your understanding of sensation and perception. When you receive the test, however, you find that very few questions actually relate to these topics. In this instance, you would be most concerned about the ________ of the test.