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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 or best example of a category. Matching new items to the prototype provides a quick and easy method of including items in a category


A methodical. logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem


A simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgements and solve problems efficiently


A sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem

Confirmation Bias

The tendency to search for information that confirms one's preconceptions


The inability to see a problem from a new perspective

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

Representativeness Heuristic

Judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes. This may lead one to ignore other relevant information

Availability Heuristic

Estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory. If events come immediately to mind, we think they are common.


The tendency to be more confident than correct


The way an issue is presented

Belief Bias

The tendency for one's preexisting beliefs to distort logical reasoning, sometimes by making invalid conclusions seem valid or valid conclusions seeming invalid

Belief Perseverance

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


Our spoken written or signed words and ways we combine them to communicate learning


In language, the smallest distinctive sound unit


In a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning, may be a word, prefix, suffix, etc


In a language, a system of rules that enable us to communicate with and understand others


The set of rules by which we derive meaning from morphemes, words and sentences given


The rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences in a given language

Babbling Stage

Beginning at about four months, the stage of speech development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to the household language

One-Word Stage

The stage in speech development from about age 1 to 2 during which a child speaks mostly two-word statements

Telegraphic Speech

Early speech stage in which a child speaks like a telegram using mostly nouns and verbs

Linguistic Determinism

Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think

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