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PSYC ch. 9 notes

by: Maycie Tidwell

PSYC ch. 9 notes PSYC 10213

Maycie Tidwell
GPA 3.8

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About this Document

These notes cover what we learned in chapter 9 over "Thinking and Language."
General Psychology
Class Notes
PSYC, Psychology
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Maycie Tidwell on Wednesday March 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 10213 at Texas Christian University taught by Wehlburg in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Science at Texas Christian University.

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Date Created: 03/09/16
PSYC- Chapter 9: Thinking and Language Thinking: cognition. A process that involves knowing, understanding, remembering, and communicating. Thinking involves a number of mental activities: 1. Concepts 2. Problem solving 3. Decision making 4. Judgment formation Concepts: The mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people. There are a variety of chairs but their common features define the concept of a chair.  We organize concepts into category hierarchies. Development of Concepts: We form some concepts with definitions. For example, a triangle has three sides. Mostly, we form concepts with mental images or typical examples (prototypes). For example, a robin is a prototype of a bird, but a penguin is not. Problem solving strategies include: 1. Trial and Error 2. Algorithms 3. Heuristics 4. Insight Algorithms: Are very time consuming, exhaust all possibilities before arriving at a solution. Computers use algorithms. (how to find the right answer) (unscrambling letters) Heuristics: simple, thinking strategies that allow us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently. Heuristics are less time consuming, but more error-prone than algorithms. *Heuristics make it easier for us to use simple principles to arrive at solutions to problems. Ex: picking cereal at the grocery store. Heuristics are much easier and faster for problem solving than algorithms. *Sometimes heuristics can give us a wrong answer Insight: involves a sudden novel realization of a solution to a problem. Humans and animals have insight. *Not using a strategy, it’s when something suddenly pops into your head. “aha moment.” Fixation: An inability to see a problem from a fresh perspective. This impedes problem solving. An example of fixation is functional fixedness. *Something that gets in the way of us from looking at something in a new perspective. Ex: when you need a hammer so you spend time going to look for one, when you could have just used a shoe as a hammer. Ex: The Matchstick Problem: How would you arrange six matches to form four equilateral triangles? Ex: mounting a candle on a bulletin board. Representative heuristics:  Judging the likelihood of things or objects in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, a particular prototype. Ex: You’d think that a small man with glasses who likes poetry is more likely to be an Ivy League professor rather than a truck driver. Availability heuristics: Why does our availability heuristic lead us astray? Whatever increases the ease of retrieving information increases its perceived availability. *If we have just had info. presented to us, is what we will look for and see most. How is retrieval facilitated? 1. How recently we have heard about the event. 2. How distinct it is. 3. How correct it is. Overconfidence: Intuitive heuristics, confirmation of beliefs, and the inclination to explain failures increase our overconfidence. Overconfidence is a tendency to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgments. Ex: In the stock market, both the seller and the buyer may be confident about their decisions on a stock. Ex: thinking you’re really good at basketball and will become a professional/ don’t need to go to college. Exaggerated Fear: The opposite of having overconfidence is having an exaggerated fear about what may happen. Such fears may be unfounded. Ex: The 9/11 attacks led to a decline in air travel due to fear. The Effects of Framing: Decisions and judgments may be significantly affected depending upon how an issue is framed.  When we only look at things with a specific perspective.  Ex: Will you buy 25% fat beef or 75% lean beef? You’ll buy 75% lean! Even thought they’re exactly the same. The Belief Perseverance Phenomenon: Belief perseverance is the tendency to cling to our beliefs in the face of contrary evidence. Ex: If you see that a country is hostile, you are likely to interpret their ambiguous actions as a sign of hostility. Ex: if you think a student is bad, then anything they do wrong will be extremely wrong. And vice versa. Language: our spoken, written, or gestured work, is the way we communicate meaning to ourselves and others. *Children learn their native languages much before learning to add 2+2. *We learn, on average (after age 1), 3,500 words a year, amassing 60,000 words by the time we graduate from high school. Stages: Babbling Stage: Beginning at 4 months, the infant spontaneously utters various sounds, like ah-goo. Babbling is not imitation of adult speech. *even deaf born children babble. One-Word Stage: Beginning at or around his first birthday, a child starts to speak one word at a time and is able to make family members understand him. The word doggy may mean look at the dog out there. Two-Word Stage: Before the 2nd year, a child starts to speak in two- word sentences. This form of speech is called telegraphic speech because the child speaks like a telegram: “Go car,” means I would like to go for a ride in the car. Longer phrases: After telegraphic speech, children begin uttering longer phrases (Mommy get ball) with syntactical sense, and by early elementary school they are employing humor. You never starve in the desert because of all the sand-which-es there. Explaining Language Development: 1. Operant Learning: Skinner (1957, 1985) believed that language development may be explained on the basis of learning principles such as association, imitation, and reinforcement. *We learn language from being rewarded. (Clapping and smiling) 2. Inborn Universal Grammar: Chomsky (1959, 1987) opposed Skinner’s ideas and suggested that the rate of language acquisition is so fast that it cannot be explained through learning principles, and thus most of it is inborn. * We learn language so fast that there MUST be something in our brain that helps us learn a language. *Childhood is a critical period for fully developing certain aspects of language. Children never exposed to any language (spoken or signed) by about age 7 gradually lose their ability to master any language. *Learning new language gets harder as you get older Language Influences Thinking: *Language and thinking intricately intertwine. Linguistic Determinism: Whorf (1956) suggested that language determines the way we think. For example, he noted that the Hopi people do not have the past tense for verbs. Therefore, the Hopi cannot think readily about the past. *When a language provides words for objects or events, we can think about these objects more clearly and remember them. It is easier to think about two colors with two different names (A) than colors with the same name (B) Thinking in Images: To a large extent thinking is language-based. When alone, we may talk to ourselves. However, we also think in images. Ex: turning on the hot water (We don’t think words, we just picture it) Ex: how to ride a bike (we don’t really have words for that) Images and Brain: Imagining a physical activity activates the same brain regions as when actually performing the activity. (not the same muscles) Animal Thinking & Language: Animals do have language. They communicate when they are hungry or need to go to the bathroom. *Bees can communicate very complex things with each other. Do Animals Think? Common cognitive skills in humans and apes include the following: 1. Concept Formation 2. Insight 3. Problem Solving 4. Culture Insight: chimpanzees show insightful behavior when solving problems. Ex: using sticks to get food. Problem Solving: Apes are, much like us, shaped by reinforcement when solving problems.


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