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PSY2012 Week 3 of notes

by: Lauren Carstens

PSY2012 Week 3 of notes PSY2012

Marketplace > Florida State University > PSY2012 > PSY2012 Week 3 of notes
Lauren Carstens
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I'm uploading Monday and Wednesday's notes now because we have an exam on Friday. Hope they help!
Melissa Shepard
Class Notes
Psychology, week 3, Chapter 8, Language, thoughts, Exam 1
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lauren Carstens on Tuesday January 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY2012 at Florida State University taught by Melissa Shepard in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 41 views.

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Date Created: 01/26/16
Psychology Chapter 8: Language, Thinking and Reasoning Language  Arbitrary System of communication that combines symbols, such as words or gestural signs, in rule based ways to create meaning  Allows for communication of information, as well as social and emotional functions o Allows us to relate to other people, express how we relate to people and build interpersonal relationships Features of Language  Highly practiced and automatic process o We usually take it for granted because it requires little thought  Four levels of analysis that must coordinate with one another o 1. Phonemes o 2. Morphemes o 3. Syntax o 4. Extra-linguistic Information Phonemes  Categories of sounds our vocal apparatus produces o Ex: “Tah” “The” and “Sh”  Probably around 100 total (each language only uses a subset) o English contains about 40-45 phonemes o Languages with more have less redundant phonemes and languages with less phonemes have more redundant phonemes in their language o Different languages use difference phonemes  Each language uses a subset of phonemes  Auditory perception differs among adults who speak different languages  New language learning often requires parsing auditory information differently  You have to start making distinctions between phonemes when your primary language doesn’t have those phonemes Morphemes  Smallest unit of meaning in a language  Created by stringing together phonemes  Conveys information about semantics – meaning derived from words and sentences  Some words contain one morpheme and some words contain multiple morphemes o Full words: “cat” o Modifiers: “un”, “s”  These contain meaning so they are their own morpheme  “Cats” contains 2 morphemes  “Unreal” 2 morphemes because “un” and “real” have the simplest meaning  “I crossed the river” 5 morphemes o Not syllables; individual syllables don’t contain meaning Syntax  Set of rules of a language by which we construct sentences  Rules that tell us how to order words  Morphological Markers: grammatical elements that modify words to change meaning o Part of syntax because they are added to the words and are all different o “s”, “ing”, “ed”  Follows an idealized form of language (having perfect language skills) Extra-linguistic Information  Elements of communication that aren’t part of the content of language but are critical to interpreting its meaning  Ex: Facial expressions, body language, tone of voice  People can say the same sentences with different meanings, but they can only be understood because of the extra-linguistic information  Used to help interpret ambiguous information Language Development  Stage 1: Babbling Stage o Begins at around 3-4 months in age o Intentional vocalization of noises  Crying, laughing, burping don’t count o Infants spontaneously utter random sounds o Not initially an imitation of adult speech  However, by about 10 months, phonemes approximate phonemes used by caregivers (They are babbling in phonemes that they are hearing)  Stage 2: One-Word Stage o Babies start to produce one word o From about the age of 1-2 years old o Move from being receptive to language to actually producing language o Speech is mostly in single words o Can comprehend much more than they can produce at this time  At about 2 years old, the gap between what they can comprehend and what they can produce lessens because they start speaking more  Stage 3: Two-Word Stage o Babies can produce around 2 words o Usually when they are approaching age 2 o Their two word statements usually contain a noun and a verb or a noun and an adjective  “Want milk,” “Big dog” o Telegraphic Speech: resembles the short messages once sent by telegram (“go car”)  Omits “auxiliary words” o After a few months of being in this stage, babies start to make 3 or 4 word sentences and use morphological markers Critical periods for language learning?  Is there a specific time period that is critical for learning a language and, if kids miss that time, will they always have a hard time learning a language?  Current findings are inconclusive: o Hard to study this because its unethical to just not let a child be exposed to and learn language o Studies with deaf children (ex: cochlear implants)  Kids who receive the implant sooner in life will learn a language better o Cases involving late exposure to language (Cases because there are very few people in this category)  Ex: Girl who was abused and chained to a toilet for 13 years  Some conclusions drawn from studies of second language learning, but is this really the same? o No, because you already know the basic structure of language and basic understanding of how language works o It’s descriptively true that age of acquisition is the best predictor of whether we achieve fluency  Younger children learn new languages better and easier than older adults  Children have less cognitive mechanisms  Children learn vocabulary and then focus on grammar  Adults will do both or focus more on syntax and grammar first  Interactive influence of nature and nurture on learning language o There is not a strict critical period (a strict time for people to learn languages and, if they miss it, they can’t learn a language) for language development in humans, but a sensitive period (a period in which it is easier for people to learn languages) Language Comprehension  Factors that effect language comprehension o Negatives (double negatives are confusing) o Passives (John planted a tree vs. A tree was planted by John) o Nested Structures (When you stick a descriptive clause in the middle of a sentence [difficult to understand because you are splitting the subject and the predicate apart with a whole other clause]) o Ambiguity  “Children make nutritious snacks”  Does this mean children make good decisions by choosing healthy snacks or that, when adults are hungry, they should eat children?  Punctuation is crucial for this (Let’s eat, Grandpa vs Lets eat Grandpa)  There is no punctuation in spoken language so these sentences can be confusing Theoretical Accounts of Language Acquisition  Why babies have such a great ability to learn language: o Imitation explanation  Learn through observing others  Unlikely to tell the whole story because language is a system that allows us to make new sentences that have never been uttered o Nativist Explanation  Born with a basic knowledge about language  This can’t really be disproven (not falsifiable) o Social Pragmatists  Children use context of the conversation to infer topics from actions and other behaviors  Infer language from context o General Cognitive Processing Account  Skills that children apply across activities  The skills that they learn from other activities, such as with patterns, help with learning language Language and Thought  Linguistic determinism: View that all thought is represented verbally and that, as a result, our language defines our thinking o Most of the evidence with this view is pretty inconclusive  Linguistic relativity: View that characteristics of language shape our thought processes o Example of Russians: Russians that move to the U.S. will have a better memory of Russian events while speaking Russian and a better memory of American events while speaking in English Learning to Read  Reading becomes a very automatic process (like talking)  We learn four things prior to learning how to read o 1. Writing is meaningful (it’s more than just scribble) o 2. Writing moves in a specific direction (Left to right in English, top to bottom in Japanese) o 3. Recognizing the letters of the alphabet (Distinguishing an ‘N’ from an ‘M’) o 4. Printed letters correspond to specific sounds (The relationship between letters and sounds)  Once those are learned, we must master two more skills to become experts o 1. How whole words look on the page (whole word recognition) o 2. How to sound out unfamiliar words (phonetic decomposition)  Figuring out the difference between printed letters and sounds  Difficult because some sounds are not linked to unique letters  Easy to think you taught yourself how to read a word and then finding out that you’ve been saying it wrong  Is Reading Automatic? o Context helps us understand ambiguous words. o If words are completely ambiguous, people will end up saying a word with incorrect pronunciation Thinking and Reasoning Thinking: any mental activity or processing of information  Includes fundamental aspects of cognition, such as learning, remembering, perceiving, communicating, believing and deciding Problem Solving  Generating a cognitive strategy to accomplish a specific goal  To solve problems, we rely on a step by step procedure called algorithms (cake recipes)  We rely on algorithms to solve problems o Comes in handy for problems that require the same procedure for every time the action is done  If algorithms don’t work, try breaking a problem down into easier sub- problems to help solve the problem o If looking for a graduate school, break it down to what programs you’re interested in and what location you want to stay in and what price you’re willing to pay o You can also search for alternate solutions to certain steps if you can not complete them exactly as the algorithm tells you to  Attempt to draw an analogy between current and past problems Obstacles to Problem Solving 1. Salience of surface similarities a. Try to solve problems in a way that we solved similar situations i. Ex: If you spill water in your car, you can wipe it up with just a towel. If you spill milk, just using a towel won’t completely solve the problem b. Focusing on how similar a problem is to another problem may inhibit your ability to solve the problem in the best manner 2. Mental sets a. If we find a solution that is dependable, we may have trouble finding alternate solutions or thinking outside of the box. b. Ex: If you are used to fitting all of your Christmas decorations into one box and then you buy new decorations that no longer fit into the box, you need to find a new solution. 3. Functional fixedness a. Difficulty picturing an object typically used for one purpose and how it can be used for another purpose b. Ex: Mounting a candle on a wall with only a candle, a book of matches and a box of tacks i. Forces us to use conventional objects in unconventional ways which is difficult for most people to picture


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