Mizzou PSYCH 1000 - Chapter 8 – Cognition & Language

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What is Cognitive Psychology?Focuses on higher mental processesThinkingLanguageMemoryProblem solvingKnowingReasoningJudgingThinking and ReasoningWhat is thought?Brain activity in which mental representations of information are intentionally manipulatedMental representations include words, images, sounds, etc.Mental ImagesThe mind’s representations of an object or eventThere “images” can be visual, auditory, olfactory, etc.Mental images have many of the same properties as real objectsConceptsMental groupings of similar objects, events, or peopleConcepts let us categorize and simplify phenomenaHamburger & Hotdogs are conceptualized as foodMU is a school, high school is a school, general concept!Function of ConceptsOur conceptions of behavior help us understand a complex world“I wash my hands 20 times a day”“I’m a doctor” or “I have OCD” – makes your conception different depending on the reasonPrototypesVery typical examples of a conceptCulture and PrototypesThere’s a lot of agreement within cultures about what constitutes a prototypeReasoningSyllogistic reasoning involves drawing conclusions from a set of premisesPremise 1: Ian dislikes tall, steep bridgesPremise 2: the Rainbow Bridge is tall and steepConclusion: Ian dislikes the Rainbow BridgeAlgorithms and HeuristicsAlgorithms are rules that when applied correctly guarantee accurate solutionsHeuristics are mental shortcuts that can lead to correct solutionsCommon HeuristicsThe representativeness heuristic involves judging people by the extent to which they represent a groupThe availability heuristic involves judging an event’s probability by the ease with which it can be recalledThe familiarity heuristic involves judging familiar items as superior to unfamiliar itemsProblem SolvingTypes of problemsArrangement problems involve rearranging or recombining objectsStructure induction problems involve identifying object structure and size and relationships between objectsTransformational problems consist of an initial state, a goal state, and identifying how to reach the goal stateThree steps in problem solvingPreparing to solve problemsProducing solutionsJudging solutionsPreparationMore time spent preparing to solve novel (new, unfamiliar) problemsPreparation is simpler with a well-defined problemThe problem’s nature and information needed to solve it are availableWhen preparing to solve problems, we develop cognitive representations of themWe also separate problems into parts or focus on certain informationProducing SolutionsTrial and error is the simplest strategyTrial and error is very tedious for complex problemsProducing solutions with heuristicsMeans-end analysis involves testing for differences between current and goal statesThis can help with more complex problemsUsing subgoals involves dividing a problem into a series of stepSometimes problems are too complex for thisProducing solutions via insightSuddenly becoming aware of relations between elements in a problem called insightsInsight must be preceded by practiceJudging solutionsIt’s easy to judge solutions to concrete problemsIt’s more difficult to judge solutions to more complex problemsWhat makes problem solving so difficult?Functional fixedness is the tendency to think of an object only in terms of it’s typical useMental sets are the tendency for old patterns of problem solving to persistCreativity and Problem SolvingCreativity is the ability to generate original ideas or solve problems in novel waysDivergent thinking is the ability to generate unusual yet appropriate responsesLanguageWhat is language?The communication of information through symbols arranges according to systematic rulesLanguage is intimately tied to how we think about the worldGrammarThe system of rules that determine how thoughts are expressedThere are three major grammatical componentsPhonemes are the smallest basic units of speech that affect meaningDifferent pronunciation of the same letterSyntax refers to rules dictating how sentences are formedWe say “the cat is climbing up the tree” not “the tree up cat climbs”Semantics are the meaning of words and sentencesUnderstanding what the sentence meansLanguage Development3mo-1yr: babbling is a speech-like but meaningless sounds2yrs: children use sentences omitting critical words, called telegraphic speech3yrs: children use the past tense, but use the same rules even when it leads to error, called overgeneralizationHow do we acquire language?The learning-theory approach says language acquisition follows operant conditioning principlesThe nativist approach says language capabilities are innate and universalThe interactionist approach says that we have language predispositions that are the nurturedDoes language influence thought?The linguistic-relativity hypothesis says language influences perception and thoughtNewer research suggests that thought actually influences languageCapitalization of “I” in English shows the superiority complex of people who speak English b/c usually things that are capitalized are importantIn any case, thought and language undoubtedly interactDo animals use language?Animals can communicate, but that doesn’t mean they use languageSome primates can create simple sentences and invent syntactical rulesCritics say animals simply mimic language, they don’t really understand, they just mimic it.Slides are on Blackboard, so is the video <= watch itWhat is Intelligence?Western Cultures (and the book’s definition) – the capacity to understand the world, think rationally, and use resources effectively when faced with challengesTheories of IntelligenceSingle TheoriesMultifaceted TheoriesG-factorGlobal factorPeople who are good at one area of general intelligence are good at everythingCrystallized vs. Fluid IntelligenceCrystallized – accumulation of information, skills, and strategies people have learned through experienceRecalling childhood memoriesScoring high on a vocab testFluid – ability to reason abstractlyPuzzleslogic puzzles8 Levels of IntelligenceMusicalBodilySkills using the whole body or various portionsLogicalLinguisticBilingual peopleSpatialSpatial configurationsArchitectsIntrapersonalKnowledge of your own selfMindfulnessUnderstanding your own emotionsInterpersonalSkills interacting with othersNaturalistThe ability to identify and classify patterns in natureEvolutionInformation-processing approachMotivation is the factors that direct and energize behaviorMotivation can


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Mizzou PSYCH 1000 - Chapter 8 – Cognition & Language

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