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Lecture 14

PSYCH 211: Lecture 14 Notes

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Mathieu Le Corre

Midterm: Lectures 8-15 Do readings from syllabus Chapter 7, pg. 208 to the end; all of Chapter 10 Theme: the world is not enough Is it an agobe? Green square: YES Red square: YES Red diamond: YES Red triangle: NO -at first, thought agobe was any square, then at the end, thought it was anything that was 4-sided -in an artificial word-learning situation -generating hypothesis about the possible meaning of an agobe (throught process of elimination, etc.) -keeping our hypothesis if it was consistent with the data we got, and modifying it if it was inconsistent with the data we got -there are infinitely many hypothesis that were consistent with the first data point -in principle, we could be all over the place; but most people concluded the same hypothesis -in the end, all the options would be able to describe the pattern, yet everyone concluded the same hypothesis Word learning: you need concepts in your head to do it! -hypothesis are made of concepts -if you start off as a blank slate, you cannot learn anything! You learn in terms of what you already know -to learn stuff, you need to already learn some stuff! -Plato: learning new things is impossible -to say that kids learn by imitation is not meaningful; saying that completely fails to talk about what goes on in the child’s head when they’re learning -for kid to use the world table the way his/her parents do, they have to have the same concepts as his/her parents (or very close) -if kid only has concepts of horse, hare, turtle; if he learns table, he just knows that it’s not a horse, hare, or turtle -the meaning was already available in the child’s head -there’s something in the child’s brain that allows them to consider a variety of word meanings Word learning: you need limits on your hypothesis to do it! -how do we ever learn words well enough that we can communicate with each other? -we still don’t know what agobe is, but we know it only according to what data has been given about it so far The ambiguity of the evidence for word meanings -by age 3, kids have enough words to tell stories -how’d they get these words? Word learning: you need limits on your hypothesis to do it! -how do we solve problem of ambiguity? -our hypothesis we consider are highly constrained We DO unconsciously favour some hypotheses over others -start simple -ex. we all considered square, or green square at the beginning -we didn’t consider more complex things like 4 edges, etc. -we didn’t think of anything too specific (ex. agobe is the name of the green square) -hypothesis are consistent with too many things are not considered -ex. not many people thought the hypothesis was “thing” b/c it’s consistent with too many things in the world -we do not like to think of hypothesis as negation (not) or disjunction (or) -there’s a whole bunch of hypothesis we were built to consider! Joint attention -kids are constantly exposed to language -babies don’t assume that whatever word they happen to hear when they’re looking at an object is correct (when they hear th
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