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Psychology 1000

Chapter 9: Thought, Language, and Intelligence (p.334) - Humans are smaller physically but dominate because of ability to manipulate into forms of language, thinking, reasoning, and problem solving mental representations: variety of forms – images, ideas, concepts, principles o E.g. mental representations transferred from mind to mind through medium of language LANGUAGE - Brain achieved present form 50,000 years ago - 35,000 years before paintings, 12,000 more for writing - Cognitive develops, not only structure matters - Language = “the jewel in the crown of cognition” o Evolved as humans gathered to form larger social units o Ability to form cooperative social systems, develop social customs, communicate thoughts to others, create divisions of labour, and pass on knowledge and wisdom made easier by language o Adaptive value of language so brain has capacity to learn The Nature and Structure of Language - Language consists of a system of symbols and rules for combining these symbols in ways that can produce an almost infinite number of possible messages or meanings o .: language = symbolic: uses sounds, written signs, gestures to refer to things  Form and transfer mental representations  Linguistic feature displacement: fact that past, future, imaginary events and objects that are not physically present can be symbolically represented and communicated through the medium of language .: NOT RESTRICTED TO PRESENT o Language has structure: rules governing how symbols can be combined to create meaningful communication units  May not be able to verbalize rules, but know implicitly because part of language we speak o Language is generative: symbols can be combined to generate an almost infinite number of messages  Forming mental image of random sentence exhibits displacement Surface and Deep Structure - Psycholinguists: study psychological properties of language and underlying mechanisms that produce it o Surface structure: consists of the way symbols are combined within a given language  Rules for such combinations are syntax (rules of grammar) of a language o Deep structure: refers to underlying meaning of combined symbols  Rules for connecting symbols to what they represent = semantics o Both in long-term memory o More likely to remember meaning than specifics Language from the Bottom Up - Human language has hierarchical structure - Phonemes = smallest unit of sound recognized as separate in given language o English has 46 (vowel sounds, consonant sounds, letter combinations th and sh) o E.g. sounds h a t combined to 3-phoneme word hat o Humans can make 100s, don’t use all. Some have 15, some 80, most 40-50 - Phonemes combined to morphemes = smallest units of meaning o E.g. hat, sick, tel , prefixes and suffixes (-ous morpheme made of 2 phonemes uh and s o Syntax rules determine how phonemes can be made to morphemes o 46 English phonemes  100,000 morphemes  ½ million words  phrases  infinite sentences Acquiring a Language - Biological readiness to recognize and eventually produce sounds and structure of whatever language exposed to? Biological Foundations - Support for biological basis for language acquisition, bio primed within learning environment = growth o Kids have limited thinking skills but begin to master language early in life without formal instruction o All adult languages (despite differences, independent creations including sign language) appear to have common underlying deep structure - 1-3 months infants vocalize entire range of phonemes found in world’s language = cooing (coo sounds when happy) - 6 months, make native tongue sounds; discard other tongue sounds = babbling stage of language development o Lose ability to perceive difference in sounds of other languages (e.g. Japanese kids can’t “r” and “l” differentiate) o Vocalizations become more and more similar to exposed language o Sign language babies babble with heads o Some complex rules of syntax (Japanese: object before verb; English other way) - Sensitive period during which language most easily learned = infancy to puberty (includes sign language) o Support: kids found before vs after puberty, recovery from brain damage before vs after Sex differences. - Language functions distributed all over, but some special o Broca’s area in left hemisphere frontal lobe = speech production/formation o Wernicke’s area in rear temporal lobe = speech comprehension/understanding o Damage in one or both areas (BFF WUT) = aphasia (disruption in speech comprehension and/or production) o Visual area also involved in recognizing written words - Stroke victims (men vs women) show that women more than men have more language lateralization (men left hemisphere damage = less speech recovery) Social Learning Processes - Social learning crucial in acquiring language o E.g. parents maintain child interest by motherese (high pitched intonation) - Skinner said operant conditioning explanation for language acquisition (reinforce appropriate, not inappropriate verbalization) o But kids learn too much too fast  30 months, 100s words  6 yrs, 15 words / day; 8000-14000 words - Parents reinforce “truth value” vs grammar (“3 feet” but not “2 foots”) .: not imitation, social learning not everything - Bio factors (+ speech producing mechanisms) and experience combine, common timetable for all cultures o 1-3 months: distinguish speech from nonspeech, prefer speech sounds (phonemes); crying vs happy cooing o 4-6 months: babbling, sounds from every language. Vocalizes in response to others o 7-11 months: babbling  phonemes from environment, tongue with vocalization (“lalling”), differentiates words (not meaning), imitates word sounds o 12 months: first words, usually 1 word name for person/thing o 12-18 months: more word meanings, use single words for phrase (e.g. “out”); nouns o 18-24 months: 50-100 word vocab; basic sentences without articles/conjunctions/auxiliary verbs   Telegraphic speech = noun + verb, 2 word sentences o 2-4 years: 100s words / 6 months, longer sentences (grammar incorrect), basic syntax; concepts/descriptions expressed with words o 4-5 years: basic grammar to meaningful sentences Bilingualism: Learning a Second Language - Famous people: M.D. Berlitz, Sir John Bowring (Hong Kong), Benjamin Schulze (prayer) - Best learned during childhood, e.g. grammar mastery in English harder past 7 o Kids sometimes get confused, but after about 2 coding mixing is not an issue - Study of bilingualism important for Canada  French immersion now popular in Canada (started in St. Lampert, Quebec, worked with Wally Lambert @ McGill, first 1965, now 300,000+) - First bilingual learning 2 sets grammar/vocab = worse; but do same on monolingual tests o Superior cognitive processing o Better at reading, better controlling attention, greater flexibility in thinking, standardized intelligence tests - Areas of brain  before 10 = same; after 10 (less proficient in 2 language) = different (PET scans) Linguistic Influences on Thinking - Benjamin Lee Whorf (1965)  linguistic relativity hypothesis: language DETERMINES what we are capable of thinking o E.g. no past tense in language, can’t remember past o Wrong, e.g. Eleanor Rosch with Dani of New Guinea, 2 colour words but observe all - Language influences how we think, efficiently categorize experiences, how much detail we attend to, colour perceptions/conclusions o E.g. gender stereotypes, .: language helps create and maintain them - Language influencing what and how we think = important, because how we encode info affects perception/memory o Vocab expands, thinking more sophisticated ways. ,: vocab development key to education - Language also affects how we think in certain domains o E.g. Asian > English in math  e.g. Chinese numbers easier .: Asian facilitates math skill development, English hinders - Thought includes wide range of mental activities, enter abilities to reason, solve problems, engage in forms of “intelligent” behaviour o Propositional thought: expresses proposition / statement – verbal sentences what we “hear” in mind o Imaginal thought: images we “see” “hear” or “feel” in mind o Motoring thought: relates to mental representation of motor movements, e.g. throwing Concepts and Propositions - Propositions: statements that express facts, most thinking o Combination of concepts (subject, predicate): basic units of semantic memory – mental categories into which we place objects, activities, abstractions, events that have things in common  Acquired through instruction or observation  Difficult to define explicitly i.e. define “vegetable” vs think of e.g.  Eleanor Rosch (1977) = concepts defined by prototypes – typical/familiar member of class o Decide what category based on resemblance to prototype o Basic form of concepts, only similarities  prototypes from experience, .: concepts differ between individuals o How we state about problems/decisions influence how we solve problem, reason to decision, or make judgement  Greater cost to negative outcomes as value to positive **Levels of Analysis: p. 345 Research Frontiers – Can Animals Acquire Language - Noam Chomsky: language = “human essence” - Other animals communicate (e.g. bird call for predator warning) - Taught chimps o Positive  Allen and Beatrice Gardner  10 month Washoe, ASL, age 5 160 signs  Lana, lexigrams  Chantek (orangutan), symbols  Koko (gorilla), 600 signs o Negative  Terrace  Nim Chimpsky, fail o Kanzi : 80 geometric symbols, 1.5 years = combinations - Apes can’t talk because of bio, but can acquire vocabulary **In Review: p. 347 REASONING AND PROBLEM SOLVING - Intelligent thinking = reasoning, logic - Trial and error = primitive problem solving; reasoning avoids hazard and time Reasoning - Deductive reasoning: “top down”, general principles to conclusion about specific case o Start with set of premises (propositions assumed to be true, factual statements) o Determine what they imply about specific situations o Basis for math and logic  Stronger more valid because conclusions CANNOT BE FALSE if premises are true o Underlying deductive principle: given proposition, IF X THEN Y o deductive argument = syllogism - Inductive reasoning: “bottom up”, specific facts try to develop general principle o E.g. scientists making general principles/laws from observing several specifics (apples on head  gravity, Pavlov dog salivate  classic conditioning) - DEDUCTIVE = true fosho; INDUCTIVE = likelihood rather than certainty o Both used different times o INDUCTIVE for psychologists, scientists, diagnose/initially explain  After IND, DED in if -then hypothesis to test  hypothetico-deductive approach Stumbling Blocks in Reasoning - Distraction by irrelevant information. Relevancy is challenging, irrelevant can lead astray and make things more difficult - Failure to apply deductive rules. knowledge not enough, wisdom of when and how to apply knowledge is needed o E.g. math kids learn formula in general, can apply to physics; physics kids can’t apply it to other areas - Belief bias. Belief bias = tendency to abandon logical rules in favour of personal beliefs. o E.g. smoking good health, cigs smoked, cigs good health = LOGICAL o Many confuse factual correctness with logical correctness Problem Solving - 4 Stages: o 1 = interpret (frame) and understand problem o 2 = Generate hypotheses or possible solutions o 3 = Test solutions, hypotheses, seeking to disconfirm one or more of them o 4 = Evaluate results and, if necessary, revise steps 1,2, or 3 Understand, or Framing, the Problem - How we mentally represent (or frame) problem makes difference – e.g. unsolvable problem thought about differently makes it easy o E.g. bird in between trains Generating Potential Solutions - After interpret, formulate potential solutions/explanations o 1) determine which procedures/explanations will be considered o 2) determine which solutions consistent with evidence; rule out solutions not fitting Testing the Solutions - Check remaining solutions, look for test that differentiates - Abraham Luchins (1942): water jug example, mental set = tendency to stick to solutions which worked in past  can be inefficient Evaluating Results - Ask if easier / more effective way to accomplish same objective Problem-Solving Schemas - Shortcut problem-solving methods that apply to specific situations - Problem-solving schemas: like mental blueprints, step-by-step scripts for selecting info and solving specialized classes of problems o E.g. cooking, studying  once we master, we “know what to do” instead of step-by-step formal problem solving each time - Schemas explain what it means to be an expert  e.g. chess masters, Gary Kasparov o Experts develop schemas from experience, develop many to guide problem solving, much better at recognizing when schema should be applied  problem solving quick and effective o Experts have schemas in spacious long-term memory, .: analyze problem, retrieval cues, apply; novices use working memory - Development of expertise accompanied by alterations in brain functioning; for animals too Algorithms and Heuristics - Algorithms: formulas or procedures that automatically generate correct solutions o E.g math and chemical formulae  use them right, always get right answer o Can be time consuming (e.g. anagram) - Heuristics: general problem-solving strategies that we apply to certain classes of situations o Mental shortcuts that help, compare present with seemingly applicable concept/schema o E.g. means-ends analysis: identify differences between present and desired state/goal, make changes to reduce differences  Includes another heuristic subgoal analysis: attack larger problem by smaller steps  Smaller, manageable tasks with subgoal leading to ultimate goal  E.g. Hanoi tower o Affect judgements, decisions, contribute to errors Uncertainty, Heuristics, and Decision Making - Few decisions made with certainty that comes from applying math formula - Hope for decision with highest probability of positive outcome - .: apply certain heuristics to form judgements o E.g. about people  Tversky and Kahneman example of 31 year old Linda (bank teller example)  Certain heuristics underlie much of our inductive decision making (conclusion from facts), misuse = thinking errors  The representativeness heuristic. “what does it look/seem like”, 1 thing perceptual system answers when processing stimuli o Use this heuristic to infer how closely something/someone fits our prototype for particular concept/class, .: how likely it is part of class (“how likely this represents class”) o Leads to faulty logic  e.g. logical principle that combination of 2 events cannot be more likely than either event alone o Confuse representativeness with probability  The availability heuristic. Causes us to base judgements and decisions on availability of info in memory o We remember most important things to us, usually good as important is ready to be applied, but if easy to think about exaggerate likelihood of occurring  E.g. Jaws, 9/11 Confirmation Bias - Sometimes, challenging problem-solving tasks is obtaining new evidence to test hypothesis/solution - Rationally, best to seek evidence to DISCONFIRM instead of solidify, because rules out/causes us to change ideas  ensures cannot be true, instead of true FOR NOW - People hold on to beliefs  confirmation bias: tend to look for confirming evidence not disconfirming o Present even if not related to beliefs e.g. card game o E.g. seek, elicit, recall feedback about selves that confirms own beliefs Psychological Applications – Guidelines for Creative Problem Solving - Experience important, heuristics and schemas - Divergent thinking: generation of novel ideas that depart from the norm o Apply concepts or propositions across unrelated domains, no tradition, etc o People prevented by functional fixedness: tendency to be fixed in perception of proper function of object/procedure that blinded to new ways of using it - Incubation: name given sudden flash of insight, as problem has been “incubating” subconsciously - Sometimes best to put aside, let biases / mental sets dissipate, new idea emerge, new stimuli might activate new perspective - General problem solving tips: o Seen before? Modify then apply schemas o Test ideas – try to disconfirm. o Don’t confuse representativeness with probability o Means-ends problem solving heuristic o Pencil and paper – use orderly notes and schematics; substitute limited working memory, increase info at hand INTELLIGENCE - Intelligence: concept/construct that refers to ability to acquire knowledge, think and reason effectively, and deal adaptively to environment Intelligence in Historical Perspective Sir Francis Galton: Quantifying Mental Ability - English cousin of Darwin, influenced by Evolution, Hereditary Genius (1896)  intelligence across generations in families o “inherited mental constitutions” ; ignored privileged environments o Tried to prove by setting up lab tests to measure nervous system efficiency  but tests unrelated to socially relevant measures of mental ability like academic/occupational success o Set the stage, sparked interest Alfred Binet’s Mental Tests - Intelligence movement began turn of 20 century, French Alfred Binet  PRACTICAL research, identify kids unable to benefit from normal school - 2 assumptions in developing his tests: o Mental abilities develop with age o Rate of gain constant (.: lagging at age 5 still lagging age 10) - Mental age o German William Stern’s intelligence quotient (IQ): IQ = (Mental age / chronological age) x 100 o Problems, no longer used:  development slows dramatically after 16  doesn’t work for adults – age 40 not double intelligence to 20  intellectual skills can decline at advanced ages  people getting smarter  recalibrate IQ so average is 100.  .: IQ score relative to larger s
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