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Cognition Reading Notes

by: anthony padilla

Cognition Reading Notes Psych 120A

anthony padilla
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Chapter Notes - Cognition Textbook (Exam 2)
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This 11 page Reader was uploaded by anthony padilla on Monday January 26, 2015. The Reader belongs to Psych 120A at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Castel in Fall2014. Since its upload, it has received 149 views. For similar materials see 120A in Psychlogy at University of California - Los Angeles.

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Date Created: 01/26/15
Keading Summaries Notes CHAPTER SEVEN REMEMBERING COMPLEX EVENTS CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS MEMORY ERRORS 0 Crombag Wagenaar amp van Koppen 1996 What did more than half of the participants report in the first study When researchers did a follow up study what did they discover condition also included asking about details of the film l39wothirds of the participants reported that they remember seeing the movie on the plane they even provided details about the movie with confidence Furthermore when asked about the speed of the plane during the time of the movie 23 straight up was like idk and the other participants gave various answers based off of their memory of the film Only 11 got the correct answer What should be emphasized about the follow up study concerning their involvementemotional connection to the event 0 Brewer amp Treyens 1981 Why was this experiment conducted what question did they have in mind Describe the experiment and findings What was found to influencebias the participant s recollection MEMORY ERRORS A HYPOTHESIS 0 When can memory errors occur What can happen when we make connections between past and present events and how does this cause a memory error to arise 0 Describe the retrieval path connections you make which guide your search through memory as you try to recall a day at the beach two summers ago What keeps our memories separate if there are no boundaries to separate them 0 What memory error occurs when you lose track of the bits of information contained in an episode 0 How can episodes get misremembered what memory error causes this 0 Owens Bower amp Black 1979 What did this experiment demonstrate about memory errors specifically intrusion errors Who most correctly recalled the passage those presented a prologue prior to reading the passage or those not presented What conclusions can we draw from the results 0 What does it mean to say participants experienced the theme condition 0 Describe the DRM procedure and the patterns which emerged What was the theoryidea behind the study 0 How does schemata play a role when it comes to recall What does our schematic knowledge help us do what aspect of recall does it come into play THE COSTS OF MEMORY ERRORS 0 How does the Dutch airplane study demonstrate how a memory error can come about 0 Are eyewitness errors common Of the number of false convictions what portion were attributed to eyewitness error eyewitness errors account for 34 of false convictions PLANTING FALSE MEMORIES 0 Describe the experiment by Loftus amp Palmer 1974 that explored the impact of leading questions What were the different conditions and what did they find Recall the figure plotting their data Witnesses when asked how fast the car was going when it hit the other car reported on average 34 mph Other witnesses who were asked how fast the car was going when it smashed the other car gave estimates of up to 20 higher Furthermore when asked a week later to recall if they d seen any broken glass in the scene participants who d been asked the smashed question were more likely to report seeing glass although there was no glass 0 What does plausibility have to do with how successful an attempt at manipulating memory is 0 What is the imagination inflation Describe the study that demonstrates the imagination inflation p 250 0 Explain the consistency in findings when exploring ways to plant false information in someone s memory ARE THERE LINITS ON THE MISINFORMATION EFFECT 0 What is the misinformation effect Participants memories are being influenced by misinformation they receive after the episode was over Reading Summaries Notes 0 Describe the study in which experimenters were able to convince participants of a balloon ride that never was 0 Are children also vulnerable to memory planting Are they more or less vulnerable than adults describe mr science study 0 Describe the study exploring how photographs can encourage memory errors 0 Can false memories cause people to change their eating habits Describe the study which explores this question AVOIDING MEMORY ERRORS What s one reason that explains why we can be poor in evaluating our own memories p 255 Is there a correlation between memory confidence and accuracy of that memory Describe the study which explored confidence malleability Explain the data through the figure 77 THE REMEMBERKNOW DISTINCTION What are the attributes that are statistically somewhat more likely with accurate memories than errors remember judgements false memories often arrive with a sense of familiarity and no recollection of a particular episode speed more likely with accurate memories some paradigms associate accuracy with confidence FORGET TING What is the explanation for forgetting a persons name shortly after you ve met them What does the retention interval refer to Why does the passage of time matter in regards to forgetting What happens during this time Explain the interference theory and how it can happen Explain retrieval failure and how it can happen Does shorter or longer retention interval lead to more forgetting What results can we expect in the Baddeley and Hitch 1977 study if interference is the major contributor to forgetting and not decay Explain and analyze an Ebbinhaus forgetting curve In many cases why does memory interference occur UNDOING FORGET TING What is cognitive interviewing and when do we commonly see it being used What do these techniques emphasize Context reinstatement MEMORY AN OVERALL ASSESSMENT In regards to memory what happens when you try to avoid errors What happens when you try to restrict these connec ons AUTOBIOGRAPHIOAL MEMORY What is the selfreference effect Give examples What is a selfschema and what does it reflect Is it accurate or not Explain how selfschema can affect how a person recalls the past What are two things that people usually believe that is true for themselves when remembering the past Explain the reasons why emotional events are usually well remembered How does consolidation play a role What are two proposals that help supportexplain that emotion changes what you pay attention to within an event How can it change what is and is not remembered from an emotional episode What are flashbulb memories Describe the experiments that explore the accuracy of flashbulb memories What does consequentiality have to do with memory accuracy What can we conclude about flashbulb memories In some cases how can forgetting of a traumatic event be understood in terms of age Describe the study exploring memory over the very long term which involved picture cueing and name matching What does it mean to say that certain memories can achieve a state of permastore How can a memory become more likely to reach this status How can you diminish the impact of the passing years on your memory Describe the reminiscence bump Reading Summaries Notes CHAPTER EIGHT CONCEPTS AND GENERIC KNOWLEDGE KEY WORDS Rating tasks Distributed representations Family resemblance Basic level categorization Parallel distributed processing PDP Prototype theory Heuristic Connection weights Graded membership Propositions Error signal Sentence verification task Local representations Back propagation Production task Connectionist networks 0 Wittgenstein 1953 proposed that the simple words we use everyday have no real definition also said that members of the same category have family resemblance suggesting that members who share more feature characteristics are more likely to belong in the same group The idea behind his is that members of the same group share common characteristics but in different variations eg A mother and her two daughters have nigga lips and nappy hair the son only has nigga lips but also shares the huge forehead characteristic with his mom how is this consistent with the idea that knowledge of concepts is probabilistic Did this theory offer a complete and reasonable explanation PROTOTYPES AND TYPICALITY EFFECTS 0 What is the prototype theory How does it play a role in our conceptual knowledge 0 What does membership in a category depend on What kind of relationship do we see between membership in to category and resemblance 0 What do we see in a sentence verification task In the sentence verification task participants are presented with a succession of sentences and their job is to indicate whether each sentence is true or false Response time can vary from item to item within a category resulting in faster response time for a robin is a bird than for a penguin is a bird This task shows that participants have a certain prototype for each category and the closer the item matches the prototype the faster the response time and vice versa 0 What do we expect to see in a production task What about when we combine and analyze the two task results Essentially with this task participants must locate the first item in the category by memory and in essence the participants start from the center of the category the prototype and working their way outward This means then that the words produced first in the production task should have a faster resose time in the sentence verification task and words given later in the production task should have a slower response time in the sentence verification task Both tasks measure proximity to the prototype thus see the same pattern of results members of a category that are privileged on one task turn out to be privileged on other tasks 0 Do we see the same converging pattern when we look at data from rating tasks What about when participants are simply asked to think about categories In one study participants were given a category and then asked to generate simple sentences about a category The sentences were then rewritten by substituting the category name with either the name of a prototypical name for the category or a notsoprototypical name It was hypothesized that when people think about a category they are in fact thinking about the prototype for that category Therefore it follows that the meaning of the sentence remains unchanged when substituting prototypical names In contrast substituting notsoprototypical names may lead to a ridiculous proposition 0 Are certain types of categories privileged in their structure and how they re used How explain It has been proposed that there is a basic level categorization that is not too specific or too general Basic level words usually consist of one word whereas more specific categories are identified only via a phrase EXEMPLARS ANALOGIES FROM REMEMBERED EXEMPLARS 0 Explain the exemplar based approach and state the ways in which it is similar or different from the prototype view Categorization that draws on knowledge about specific category members rather than on more general information about the overall category An exemplar is defined as a specific remembered instance in essence an example The prototype and exemplar theory are similar because they both suggest that you categorize objects by comparing them to a mentally represented standard if the resemblance is great you judge the candidate as being within the relevant category if the resemblance is minimal you seek some alternative categorization Reading Summaries Notes The difference comes in between what the standard is In the prototype theory the standard is a prototype an average representing the entire category In the exemplar theory the standard is provided by whatever example of the category that comes to mind 0 If asked to name a fruit you re more likely to name typical ones than atypical ones Explain this result according to different views According to the prototype view when shown pictures and asked whether or not it was a fruit participants had faster response rates for typical fruits because they start their memory search from the center and work their way outward According to the exemplar theory the result emerges because you have many memories of apples and oranges and these are wellprimed It is no surprise then that these are the fruit examples that first come to mind for you A COMBINATION OF EXEMPLARS AND PROTOTYPES 0 Is it more useful to take the exemplar approach or the prototype approach when your encounter different and varying perspectivessituations Prototypes provide an economical representation of what s typical for a category and there are circumstances in which this quick summary is quite useful Exemplars provide information that s lost from the prototype for example people routinely tune their concepts to match the circumstances Since different settings or different perspectives would trigger different memories and thus bring different exemplars to mind it makes sense that reasoning caries as someone moves from one circumstance to the next or as someone shifts their perspective The pattern of knowledge may depend on the size of the category and on how confusable the category members are with each other with exemplars used when individuals are more distinct 0 In addition to having knowledge about both prototypes and exemplars you also have special knowledge about distinctive individuals within a category THE DIFFICULTIES WITH CATEGORIZING VIA RESEMBLANCE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TYPICALITY AND CATEGORIZATION A Judgements of typicality and of category membership both derive from the resemblance to a prototype or exemplar B In the study about showing participants typicality ratings for welldefined categories participants rated some even numbers more even than others even thought this is mathematically absurd Therefore there is some basis for judging category membership that s separate from the assessment of typicality C Claims about an objects deeper properties depend in turn on a web of other beliefs beliefs that are in each case tuned to the particular category being considered Judgements are guided by your sense of what s essential for a category and what is not What count s as essential depends on your understanding of that category and so you consider parentage in some cases or you consider circumstances in which printing is important etc Furthermore this understanding which guides your judgement depends on a web of other beliefs about biological inheritance monetary systems etc In conclusion we can not base category membership only on resemblance THE COMPLEXITY OF SIMILARITY A The importance of an attribute varies from category to category and it varies according to your beliefs about what matters for that category B Whether in judging resemblance or in deciding on categorization the features that you consider depend on the specific category CONCEPTS AS THEORIES CATEGORIZATION HEURISTICS A A strategy that gives up the guarantee of accuracy in oder to gain some efficiency B Categorization via resemblance is a heuristic in which superficial traits can be judged swiftly allowing comparisons that are quick and easy EXPLANATORY TH EORIES A A theory provides a crucial knowledge base that you rer on in thinking about an object event or category and they allow you to understand any new facts you might encounter about the relevant object or category THE FUNCTION OF EXPLANATORYTHEORIES A Implicit theories about concepts influence you in different ways You can draw on a theory when thinking about new possibilities for a category You can have an theory with certain beliefs of how someone will behave Reading Summaries Notes B Your theories also affect how quickly you can learn new concepts It is helpful therefore to think of how a concept s features hang together but keep in mind that this understanding rests on a broader set of causeand effect beliefs INFERENCES BASED ON THEORIES A Categorization is important because it Allows you to use your general knowledge and apply it to new cases Allows you to draw broad conclusions from specific experiences B Inferences are guided by Typicality People are more likely to make an inferences from a typical case to the whole category than they are to make an inference from an atypical case to the whole category Your beliefs about cause and effect in which you are relying on beliefs about how concepts are related to each other DIFFERENT PROFILES FOR DIFFERENT CONCEPTS A It has been proposed that people reason differently about natural kinds than they do about artifacts People have different beliefs about why categories of either sort are as they are B People tend to assume more homogeneity with reasoning about biological kinds than when reasoning with artifacts C Variations from one concept to another or from one class of concepts to another can be detected in neuroscience evidence suggesting that separate brain systems are responsible for different types of conceptual knowledge and so damage to a particular brain area disrupts one type of knowledge but not others D Brain damage often causes anomia an inability to name objects Patients with brain damage in the brain s temporal lobe had difficulties naming persons but were easily able to name animals and tools TP PERSONS Patients with brain damage in the brain s lnferotemporal region lobe had difficulties naming persons and animals but did somewhat better in naming tools IT ANIMALSpersons Patients with brain damage in the brain s lateral occipital lobe had difficulty naming tools but did reasonably well naming persons and animals LO TOOLS E In addition brain scans reveal activation in sensory and mortar areas when people are thinking about various concepts suggesting that abstract conceptual knowledge is intertwined about knowledge about what particular objects looksoundfeel like and also knowledge about how one might interact with the object THE KNOWLEDGE NETWORK TRAVELING THROUGH THE NETWORK TO RETRIEVE KNOWLEDGE A The link itself between two nodes is a constituent of the knowledge B Knowledge is stored via the memory network therefore retrieval presumably uses the process in which the activation spreads from node to node So it can be predicted that it takes less time to retrieve knowledge involving closely related ideas than it would for distant ideas C In a sentence verification task we would expect slower responses to sentences that require a twostep connection because the two nodes in question are connected only indirectly In contrast we expect faster responses to sentences in which two nodes are directly linked by an association D The observation that the number of nodes participants must traverse in answering a question confirms that associative links play a pivotal role in knowledge representation PROPOSITIONAL NETWORKS A Propositions the smallest unit of knowledge that can be either true or false B In attempting to understand mechanisms through which network models might represent complex ideas Anderson proposed a model which attempts to represent knowledge in terms of propositions Associations connect the ellipses to the ideas that are the proposition s constituents indicating each node s role role within the proposition Representing episodes within a propositional network contains a fragment with two propositions A time node is associated with some but not all propositions within one fragment DISTRIBUTED PROCESSING A In a model like Anderson s individual ideas are represented with local representations each node represents one and idea so that when that node is activated you re thinking about that idea and when you re thinking about that idea that node is activated B In contrast connectionist networks rely on distributed representations such that any particular idea is represented only by a pattern of activation across the network E Reading Summaries Notes A network using distributed representations must use processes that are similarly distributed to that one widespread activation pattern can have broad enough effects to evoke a different but equally widespread pattern In addition these steps involve parallel distributed processing PDP in which steps occur in parallel a feature of connectionist models PDP models can detect patterns LEARNING AS THE SETTING OF CONNECTION WEIGHTS A Learning involves the adjustment of connection weights the strength of the individual connections among nodes Learning algorithms adjust connection weights through mechanisms governed entirely by local representations One algorithm is governed by whether neighboring nodes are activated at the same time and leads to what goes with what in experience learning similar to Hebbian model in biological version Another type of learning relies on feedback in this algorithm nodes that led to an inappropriate response receive and error signal from some external force and this causes a decrease in the node s connection to the other nodes that led it to it s error This is done through back propagation CHAPTER ELEVEN JUDGEMENT AND REASON KEY WORDS Frequency estimates Attribute substitution Availability heuristic Probability judgement Representativeness heuristic Gambler s fallacy Man who argument Covariation vs Illusory covariation Confirmation bias Base rate information Keading Summaries Notes ING Dual process model System 1 System 2 Induction Deduc on Categorical syogisms Premises Valid syogisms Invalid syogisms Belief bias Matching strategy Belief perseverance Conditional statements Selection task Four card task Subjective utility Expected value Framing Utility maximization Risk seeking Risk averse Reason based choice Somatic markers Affective Forecasting YOU WANT TO JUDGE INSTEAD YOU RELY ON THIS USUALLY WORKS BECAUSE BUT THIS STRATEGY CAN LEAD TO ERROR BECAUSE Frequency of occurrence in the word Probability of an event being in a category or having certain properties Availability in memory How easily you can think of cases Resemblance between that event and the other events that are in the category Events that are frequent in the world are likely to be more available in memory Many categories are homogenous enough so that the category members do resemble each other Many factors other than frequency in the world can in uence availability from memory Many categories are not homogenous Explain how bias in availability leads to an error in frequency judgement What are some availability effects Describe 3 examples in the book What did studies on the rorschach tests demonstrate Which base rate phrase are people more alert to probability frequency percentage What influences accuracy in judgement about evidence depends on how the problem is presented What does chance have to do with the use or lack of use of system 2 How does considerations of quantity relate Why is deduction important Describe the results exploring the impact of statistical training Can confirmation bias serve to benefit us What are some sources of logical errors How does the framing of questions and evidence affect peoples decision making losses and gains What importance does the orbitalfrontal cortex serve what is it crucial for HowWhy do people predict their emotions What is happening here Fontf lifttts lj ticn Ttllllfllljf g Fil l tlllliillih Fli ftll in itemize riliialiilj itcwrlitiij Reading Summaries Notes CHAPTER TWELVE PROBLEM SOLVING AND INTELLIGENCE KEY WORDS Practical intelligence Problem solving Emotional intelligence Initial state Multiple intelligences Operators Savant syndrome Path constraints Problem space Hillclimbing strategy Identical Monozygotic MZ twins Fraternal Dizygotic DZ twins Flynn effect Meansend analysis Subproblems Stereotype threat HFde ned Welldefined Functional fixedness Problemsolving set Einstellung Preparation Incuba on Illumination Verification Divergent thinking Reliability Testretest reliability Validity Predictive validity Factory analysis General intelligence Fluid intelligence Crystalized intelligence Inspection time Parietofrontal integration theory GENERAL PROBLEM SOLVING METHODS What are the different types of problems Pragmatic I need to go to the store how can I get there Social I want to ask out Bill but he doesn t even know me How can I get him to notice me Academic I need to find the static friction of this block on this ramp How can I solve this PROBLEM SOLVING AS SEARCH A Problem solving can be compared to as a maze in which you are seeking a path toward your goal You begin with an initial state the knowledge and resources you have at the outset To move toward the goal you have a set of operators actions that can change your state You also have path constraints limitations that rule out some solutions B Relating problemsolving search strategy to the hobbit and orcs problems The operators are the moves you can make by transporting the creatures The path constraints are the limited boat size and that no hobbits be eaten A problem space is formed by a set of branches which collectively form to depict all possible sets of options Although tracing all possible branches in the problem space will guarantee arrival to the solution it s not very effective and can even be hopeless You must thus narrow your search through a problem space even though doing so involves an element of risk Since you re not considering every option there s a chance you ll miss the best op on GENERAL PROBLEMSOLVING HEURISTICS A Hillclimbing strategy at each point select the option that moves you in the direction of your goal Reading Summaries Notes This strategy is not always ideal because many problems require you to step away from your goal Only then at this new position can the problem be solved Relying on this heuristic results in failure to step backward in order to move forward At such points these people often drop their current plan and seek some other solution B Meansend analysis to compare your current status to your desired status and ask yourself What means do l have to make these more alike Leads you to break down the problem into subproblems smaller problems each with its own goal making the initial problem easier to solve The act of breaking down a larger problem into subproblems is itself a problemsolving strategy PICTURES AND DIAGRAMS A It can be helpful if you translate a problem into concrete terms relying on a picture or mental imagery B Mental imagery is preferable when you re trying to depict motion C Pictures can be more helpful for an elaborate or detailed problem D Limitations on what can be discovered in a mental image can be resolved by drawing a picture This allows a fresh start in interpreting the form gt leading to a new idea or perspective DRAWING ON EXPERIENCE PROBLEM SOLVING VIA ANALOGY A Using an analogy means to use other alreadysolved problems to solve the current problem B Gick and Holyoak first had their participants read a related story then presented the tumor problem Results When encouraged to use this hint 75 of the participants figured out the tumor problem Without the hint 10 solved the tumor problem C The next experiment had participants read the general and fortress story then were presented the tumor problem Participants were not told that these two stories were related Results Only 30 solved the tumor problem D Analogies are only beneficial to people if they re suitably instructed It is rare event that someone who is uninstructed would spontaneously use analogies E The problem lies in how we search our memory when seeking an analogy ln solving a problem about tumors people ask themselves what do i know about tumors and they fail to think of the fortress story thus this potential analogue remains dormant in memory useless F To locate helpful memories one must look past the superficial features of the problem and instead think about the underlying principles Instead you must focus on the deep structure rather than surface structurequot G Analogies can only be used if you re able to map the prior case to the current problem to be solved Difficulty in figuring out how to map may explain why people fail to find and use analogies STRATEGIES TO MAKE ANALOGY USE MORE LIKELY A We can improve problemsolving and increase the likelihood of analogy use if we encourage people to pay attention to the problem s underlying dynamic B In a study where participants were either asked to memorize problems or to understand the solution those asked to understand performed better than those who were asked to memorize 90 solved vs 69 EXPERT PROBLEM SOLVERS A Experts pay much attention to a problems structure which we found promotes analogy use but only if there was expertise in the relevant domain CHUNKING AND SUBGOALS A Expert chess players do not have exceptional memory they re just exceptional at organizing a chess game using higherorder units B Expert chess player relate pieces together and is thus able to keep track of broad strategies without being overloaded with information DEFINING THE PROBLEM Since experts approach problemsolving by paying close attention to the problems underlying dynamic they re more ablelikely to break the problem into meaningful parts and usebenefit from analogies ILLDEFINEDANDWELLDEFINED PROBLEMS A Illdefined problems Problems with no clear statement at the outset of how the goal should be characterized or what operators might be used to reach the goal Reading Summaries Notes B Strategies for handling illdefined problems Break the problem into subgoals since most illdefined problems consist of reasonably welldefined problems and by solving these you can move toward your goal Add some structure to the problem apply some limitations path constraints so that you gradually render the problem welldefined FUNCTIONAL FIXEDNESS A Functional fixedness the tendency to be rigid in how you think of an object s function B Participants were more likely to solve the problem if the box was seen next to the tacks as opposed to seeing the box presented full of tacks EINSTELLUNG A Problemsolving set the collection of beliefs and assumptions a person makes about a problem B Performance suffers if a new problem can not be solved with the formula this is because once we ve come up with a strategy on how to solve something it s difficult to discover new strategies THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX A The nine dot problem demonstrates that people have trouble jettisoning their initial approach relates to problems with problem set CREATIVITY CASE STUDIES OF CREATIVITY A Creative genius s seem to have a couple things in common First they have a lot of knowledge and skill in their domain Second they have similar personality traits such as willingness to ignore criticism willingness to take risks tolerance of ambiguous unique findingssituations and an inclination to not follow the crowd Third they find great pleasure in their work they re motivated by the pleasure of their work and so they produce a lot of their work Fourth they happen to be at the right place at the right time B Taking a systematic sociocultural approach may be necessary because we know that creativity involves factors from the external enviornment THE MOMENT OF ILLUMINATION A Wallas proposed that creative discoveries go through four stages Preparation Incubation Illumination and Verification B Overall participants who gave the incorrect answer reported higher ratings of warmth in comparison to participants who gave the correct answer Although surprisingly the two groups did not differ in their final rating of warmth when they arrived to a solution C At the moment of illumination all that happens is you discovered a new approach and something new to try INCUBATION A Possible explanations behind the idea of incubation are When you stop thinking about the problem your brain is free to activate some other part of your brain which may lead to new ideas The time you spend not thinking about the problem may allow you to gather new information or if your earlier efforts were frustrating time away may allow that anger to dissipate or if your earlier efforts were dominated by a particular set time away may lead to forget freeing your mind THE NATURE OF CREATIVITY A Journals of creative genius s reveal heavy use of heuristics hints analogies and a lot of hard work B Creative genius s are especially skilled in divergent thinking the ability to spot novel connections among ideas that C The only notable differences seen in highly creative people are their depth of knowledge intensity of motivation and their skill with spreading activation INTELLIGENCE Standard measures may lead us to overlook and undervalue other important abilities DEFINING AND MEASURING INTELLIGENCE A Intelligent quotient IQ tests evaluated performances on multiple tasks B Modern IQ tests rely on subtests WAIS WISC C Raven s Progressive Matrices Test was designed to minimize any influence from verbal skills or background knowledge 10 Reading Summaries Notes THE ROOTS OF INTELLIGENCE COMPARISONS BETWEEN MEN ANDWOMEN A B Differences found between two groups may be due to the same or different factors thus findings should be accepted with careful consideration Although there is no support for the claim that one gender is more intelligent than the other there is evidence that men tend to be better at special tasks while women tend to do better on verbal tasks The gender gap may play a role in academic achievement ln laboratory studies and studies on SAT scores males tend to score higher in mathematic tasks and women tend to do better in reading tasks However other studies reveal that in high schools men and women are equally likely to take a calculus course and in addition females tend to get better grades than males Furthermore parents and teacher believe that women are illsuited for mathematics and therefore are less likely to encourage their daughters to excel in mathematics In addition parents tend to expect males to be better at math so when males succeed it s attributed to skill whereas for females it s attributed to hard work In contrast studies have shown that with females can improve their spatial skills with practice can improved COMPARISONS BETWEEN AMERICAN WHITES AND AMERICAN BLACKS A Differences between Whites and Blacks is less of a race issue and more of a social and economic issue Stereotype threat the impact that a social stereotype once activated has on task performance We are all influenced by expectations which in many cases can cause an undermining of performance In one study african americans took the same test One group was told that the test measured intelligence while the other group was told that the test contained challenges but did not assess him her in any way The first group experienced stereotype threat and thus did a lot worse In another study men and women took the same exact test When there was an expectation for one gender to do better the results matched this expectation In contrast when the task performance was seen as gender neutral there was no significant difference in score between male and female 7th graders were asked to write down a list of their values This task alone done periodically throughout the year was enough to change performance perspectives were changed and students were able to reduce anxieties and focus instead on their values This intervention was seen to reduce the difference in grades among white and black students 11


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