Psych Ch. 8 Notes
Psych Ch. 8 Notes Psych 2010
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Brady on Saturday October 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 2010 at Auburn University taught by Jerry Murphy in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 35 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at Auburn University.
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Date Created: 10/08/16
Psych Chapter 8 Thinking, Language, and Intelligence 8.1 What is Thought? Cognition: The mental activity that includes thinking and the understandings that results from thinking Cognitive psych was originally based on two ideas about thinking: o Knowledge about the world is stored in the brain in representations o Thinking is the mental manipulation of these representations Thinking: the mental manipulation of representations of knowledge about the world Analogical representations: mental representations that have some of the physical characteristics of objects, they are analogous to the objects o EX: maps are analogical representations that correspond to geographical layouts; clock corresponds to the passage of time; realistic drawing of a violin o These representations are usually images Symbolic representations: abstract mental representations that do not correspond to the physical features of objects of ideas o These representations are usually words, numbers, or ideas o EX: there are no correspondences between what a violin looks like, what it sounds like, and the letters or sounds that make up the word “violin” Mental maps rely on BOTH analogical and symbolic representation o EX: we know the outline of Africa even though we have never actually seen the outline with our own eyes Concept: a category, or class, of related items; it consist of mental representations of those items o EX: musical instrument or fruit Prototype model: A way of thinking about concepts. Within each category, there is a best examplea prototype for that category o EX: orange is a prototype of the fruit category Exemplar model: A way of thinking about concepts. All members of a category are examples (exemplars); together they form the concept and determine category membership o EX: Your representation of of dogs is made up of all the dogs you have seen in your life Stereotypes: Cognitive schemas that allow for easy, fast processing of information about people based on their membership in certain groups o EX: dumb blondes, scientists are often seen as male rather than female Script: a schema that directs behavior over time within a situation o EX: going to the movies SUMMING UP: Knowledge about the world is stored in the brain as representations. This storage makes thought possible Categorization is grouping objects or events based on shared properties, to increase thinking efficiency Concepts are mental representations that categorize items around commonalities According to the prototype model, the individual forms a concept around a category and then chooses a prototype that best represents the concept According to the exemplar model, the individual forms a concept by combining all the examples (exemplars) of a category ever experienced by the individual Schemas are categories used to organize information. Schemas usually work because situations and appropriate behaviors follow general rules Scripts are schemas that guide behavior in specific situations, such as going to the movies Schemas and scripts are adaptive because they minimize attentional requirements and help people avoid dangerous situations A negative consequence of schemas and scripts is that they may reinforce stereotypes and biases 8.2 How do We Make Decisions and Solve Problems? Decision making: attempting to select the best alternative from among several options o EX: Choosing between Paris and Cancun for spring break Problem Solving: Finding a way around an obstacle to reach a goal o EX: If you go to Paris but do not have enough money for a plane ticket, you have a problem Normative decision theories: Attempts to define how people should make decisions o EX: People always select the choice that yields the largest gain Descriptive decision theories: attempts to predict how people actually make choices, not to define ideal choices o People often show bias in decision making NOTE: NORMATIVE AND DESCRIPTIVE THEROIES DON’T WORK Expected utility theory: According to this model, people make decisions by considering the possible alternatives and choosing the most desirable one Heuristics: Shortcuts (rules of thumb or informal guidelines) used to reduce the amount of thinking that is needed to make decisions o Often occurs unconsciously Anchoring: The tendency, in making judgments to rely on the first piece of information encountered or information that comes most quickly to mind o EX: When asked to estimate how many people live in Chicago, the answer will depend on how the question is phrased. If they are asked if the population is more or less than 200,000, they provide a smaller number of residents than if they are asked if the population is more or less than 5 million Framing: In decision making, the tendency to emphasize the potential losses or potential gains from at least one alternative o EX: Would you rather take a course where you have a 70% chance of passing or a 30% chance of failing? Even though they are identical, most would rather go for the first option o Often more concerned with costs than benefits (loss aversion) Availability heuristic: Making a decision based on the answer that most easily comes to mind Representativeness heuristic: Placing a person or object in a category if that person or object is similar to one’s prototype for that category o EX: Assuming an individual with certain characteristics is a cognitive psychologist rather than a postal worker, when they are actually a postal worker Affective forecasting: the tendency for people to overestimate how events will make them feel in the future Restructuring: A new way of thinking about a problem that aids its solution o EX: connecting 9 dots without lifting your pencil to create at most 4 lines Mental sets: Problem solving strategies that have worked in the past o Functional Fixedness: In problem solving, having fixed ideas about the typical functions of objects EX: using duct tape for NOT its original purpose Insight: The sudden realization of a solution to a problem SUMMING UP: The paradox of choice is that people prefer to have more choices, but increasing their options decreases their decision making ability and their satisfaction with decisions Problem solving can be improved by breaking problems into subgoals, restructuring the problem, working backward from the goal, or transferring an effective strategy from an analogous situation Mental sets and functional fixedness inhibit problem solving 8.3 What is Language? Language: A system of communication using sounds and symbols according to grammatical rules o EX: English, Spanish, etc. Morphemes: The smallest language units that have meaning, including suffixes and prefixes o EX: In the words “frost”, “defrost”, and “defroster” – “FROST” is the morpheme o Each morpheme consists of one or more phonemes Phonemes: The basic sounds of speech, the building blocks of language o EX: The word “kissed” has two morphemes (“kiss” and “ed”) and four phonemes (the sounds you make when you say the word) Aphasia: A language disorder that results in deficit in language comprehension and production o Expressive aphasia: When the Broca’s area is damaged, patient’s ability to speak is interrupted They can understand words and move their mouth/tongues but cannot form words to talk Wernicke’s area: An area of the left hemisphere where the temporal and parietal lobes meet, involved in speech comprehension o Receptive aphasia: When the Wernicke’s area is damaged, patients have trouble understanding the meaning of words Those with receptive aphasia are often highly verbal, but what they say does not follow the rules of grammar or make sense Global aphasia: the individual cannot understand or produce language when extensive damage is done to the left hemisphere Linguistic relatively theory: The claim that language determines thought o Proven not to be true through infants and animals Telegraphic speech: The tendency for toddlers to speak using rudimentary sentences that are missing words and grammatical markings but follow a logical syntax and convey a wealth of meaning o They speak as if they are sending a telegram Surface structure: In language, the sound and order of words Deep structure: In language, the implicit meanings of sentences Phonics: A method of teaching reading in English that focuses on the associated between letters and their phonemes o Children learn to make the appropriate sounds for the letters, then spell out words by how they sound Whole Language: A method of teaching reading in English that emphasizes learning the meanings of words and understanding how words are connected in sentences SUMMING UP: According to linguistic theory, language determines, or at least influences, thought Behaviorists believe that language was learned through operant conditioning, but research demonstrates that children acquire language even in the absence of reinforcement People with dyslexia, a reading disorder, have trouble reading, spelling, and writing even though they have normal levels of intelligence 8.4 How Do We Understand Intelligence? Intelligence: The ability to use knowledge to reason, make reason, make decisions, make sense of events, solve problems, understand complex ideas, learn quickly, and adapt to environmental challenges Psychometric approach: focuses on how people perform on standardized tests that assess mental abilities o Achievement tests: assess people’s current levels of skill and knowledge o Aptitude tests: seek to predict what tasks, and perhaps even what jobs, people will be good at in the future Mental age: An assessment of a child’s intellectual standing compared with that of same age peers; determined by comparing the child’s test score with the average score for the children of each chronological age o EX: An 8 year old who is able to read Shakespeare and do calculus might score as well as an average 16 year old. This 8 year old would have the mental age of a 16 year old Intelligence quotient (IQ): An index of intelligence computed by dividing a child’s estimated mental age by the child’s chronological age, then multiplying this number by 100 General intelligence (g): the idea that one general factor underlies intelligence o Fluid intelligence: intelligence that reflects the ability to process information, understand relationships, and think logically, particularly in novel or complex circumstances More like working memory Declines steadily throughout the adult years o Crystallized intelligence: intelligence that reflects both the knowledge acquired through experience and the ability to use that knowledge More like long term memory Grows steadily throughout the adult years o Low g is related to early death from causes including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, traffic accidents, and drownings Three types of Intelligence: Analytical intelligence: similar to that measured by psychometric tests o Being good at problem solving, completing analogies, figuring out puzzles, and other academic challenges Creative intelligence: involves the ability to gain insight and solve novel problems o To think in new and interesting ways Practical intelligence: refers to dealing with everyday tasks, such as knowing whether a parking space is large enough for your vehicle, being a good judge of people, being an effective leader, and so on. Emotional Intelligence (EI): A form of social intelligence that emphasizes the abilities to manage, recognize, and understand emotions and use emotions to guide appropriate thought and action o People high in EI recognize emotional experiences in themselves and others, then respond to those emotions productively o Correlated with the quality of social relationships Stereotype threat: Apprehension about confirming negative stereotypes related to one’s own group o EX: some people might experience this if they believe that their performance on tests might confirm negative stereotypes about their racial group o Causes distraction and anxiety SUMMING UP: Two commonly used intelligence tests are the StanfordBinet test for children, and the WAIS for adults Savants have minimal intellectual capacities in most domains, but at a very early age they show an exceptional ability in “intelligent” process There is likely a genetic component to intelligence that involves many genes, but environment plays a large role in how intelligence is expressed Epigenetics offers an explanation for how intelligence may develop, by describing how environmental influences such as enrichment and education can permit gene expression to increase synaptic connections and brain efficiency to increase intelligence There is no overall difference in intelligence between men and women, although men tend to score higher on standardized tests of math and visuospatial processing and women often score higher on tests of writing and language use People high on fluid intelligence have been found to have a greater density of neural cell bodies (gray matter) in the frontal lobes, an area of the brain that regulates working memory
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