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Lecture

LECTURES 1-5

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
Dr.Mike
Semester
Fall

Description
HUMAN LANGUAGE- Psycholinguistics -NonHuman Language Learning • if language is not a special module of human intelligence but rather a learned process then animals with mental properties very similar to humans (other primates, genetically similar to us) should be able to learn language • This would be strong support for a continuity view of language • in order to learn things through language you need to pay attention to someone who has had the experience (could take 1 hour) • in order to learn things through experience you need to literally experience it (takes long time) • currently these species don't exhibit communication systems that we have established as humans (reasons: they don't live the way we live, don't need the language the way we need it) • differences in human and chimpanzee vocal tracts preclude the use of human spoken language by these most closely related of primates so we must employ an alternative • such alternatives exist in American Sign Language (ASL) or in the development of a completely artificial language where plastic tokens are arbitrarily chosen to represent concepts • geometrically shaped tokens, certain colours refer to different tenses of phrase (past, present, future); arrange tokens to convey a specific message • Gardiner & Gardiner (1969, 1975) conducted the most well known examination of a chimp, named Washoe, of a primates attempt to communicate with ASL. Patterson (1978) reported similar success's with a gorilla named Koko • Washoe mastered several hundred signs • demonstrated syntax by employing regularity of ordering in the use of the signs (Bob hits Sue- explains the event entirely) • and some instances of productivity- eg. upon first experience of a Swan Washoe signed "Water-Bird" • allows us to think that chimpanzees are capable of using syntax; have the mind capability • using artificial languages • Premak (1971) attempted to teach a chimp named Sarah to match plastic tokens to objects and to assemble tokens into strings to produce sentences • Sarah was able to string tokens together to obtain rewards (if hungry arrange tokens to get food), however she didn't understand categories of tokens or specificity of ordering and thus was unable to demonstrate she had any knowledge of syntax • (2 studies here demonstrating ability for primates to apply syntax and vice versa) • multiple problems with these studies: take a lot of time to collect the experimental analysis for chimpanzees, not enough experiments to compare, expensive proposition to conduct research • Savage-Rumbaugh et al,. (1986, 1993) employing a pygmy chimp (bonobo) demonstrated that a bonobo named Kanzi learned many symbols and was able to use word order to convey differences in meaning, Eg., Kanzi tickle Sue meant Kanxi does the tickling while Sue tickle Kanzi meant Kanzi wished to be tickled • he understood that the order of the symbols meant something • in balance three of the studies seem to favour animal learning of language • However, are there other possible interpretations or explanations of the animals behaviour? • often what appeared to be long strings of symbols involved significant repetition of could be explained as imitation of researcher behaviour in order to obtain a reward (Terrace, 1079, 1983) • when fluent human users of ASL were asked to observe and report on Washoe's use of ASl they reported that the chimps use of signs was contaminated by pointing and other natural gestures which if not counted would significantly reduce the several hundred estimate of washes' vocabulary. they also questing did Washoe mean "water-bird" or "water", "bird" • it is unclear whether water-bird was a name to describe the bird or whether he was using it to describe the two elements in the picture, water & bird • Conculsions: primates can associate arbitrary symbols to objects • current evidence does not support that language is simply an invention by our ancestors as a consequence of general intelligence • however it is still too early to either reject either the continuity or discontinuity views -Psycholinguistics • the fundamental question is : how does language relate to the rest of our mental abilities? • this is the purpose of psycholinguistics • in this endeavour we focus on human language in an attempt to determine the connectedness of language to our other mental processes or if language is a specific module how such a module would exchange information with the rest of our cognitive system. This is known as the modularity vs connectionism debate • Modularity vs Connectionism • before we can enter into this debate we ned to set some ground rules for investigation and for investigative topics or questions • units of language- what are they? • why are there paradoxes such as the word meaning/sentence meaning disparity? -Modularity vs Connectionism • what effect does language have on our thought processes (the Whorfian hypothesis -Computational Approach • details of the computational approach are based in Linguistics with the greatest influence from the work of Chomsky • a key problem is to determine the rules between input form and meaning • chomsky believes the key to understanding language is based upon syntactic rules for specifying how words may be put together to make utterances (or statement) • example: • 1. the professors read the students papers. • 2. the students read the professors papers. • the same words are in each sentence yet they have different meanings • thus argues Chomsky the structure of the sentence as well as the words contribute to the sentences meaning (order is very important) -Representational Level • as psychologist are interested in what goes on in the mind of the language user which would allow them to know that "The professors read the students papers" is the same as "The students papers were read by the professors" • one way to test the processes used is to measure aspects of behaviour such as the tie it takes to determine the meaning of a sentence • thus the representational level comes in to play in inferring abstract mental processes • have to infer that there exists some sort of mental activities that need to be turned on and operate to produce an output which is you understanding a sentence -Implementation • compare two possible research questions: • 1. do we use syntactic rules before we determine the meaning of an utterance? • 2. where do certain mental processes take place in the brain? • these are both implementation level questions derived from representational analyses • so as computational issues can drive representational investigation, representational views can drive investigations of implementation -Summary • computation analysis drives us to understand representational interpretation • representational analysis uses some system which specifies the rules so two sentences require order to understand the different orders of the words • implementational studies are driven by representational analysis • continuity vs discontinuity: although the continuity view receives some support the current evidence does not permit us to say this question is answered • modularity vs connectionism: will drive thew way in which psychologists investigate human language with analyses at computational, representational, and implementation levels • language is not an unnecessary tool for species to survive; but it is necessary for humans to develop the society and technology to produce mass decemination of information, which cannot be done by physical gesture and not possible without having the experience -Cognition • stumbling blocks in reasoning ⁃ distraction by irrelevant information ⁃ failure to apply deductive rules ⁃ belief bias ⁃ mental set- deals with problem solving skills • problem-solving schemata ⁃ step-by-step scripts for selecting information and solving special problems ⁃ the use of problem-solving schemata is an important aspect of expert knowledge -Problem-Solving Heuristics • representativeness heuristic ⁃ used to infer how closely something or someone fits our prototype for a particular concept • availability heuristic ⁃ leads us to base judgements on the availability of information in memory • confirmation bias -Problem Solving • for those unique problems memory alone is insufficient to provide a solution • a solution here requires creative or productive thinking • both Memory use and Productive thinking reflect Realistic thinking in relation to an objective situation • this may be contrasted to Autistic • in most instances some mixture of Realistic and Autistic thinking is in operation • these types of problem solving approaches fall into the larger category of Intentional problem solving • this type of problem solving may be subject to limitations on success based upon past experience or Habitual ways of approaching problems • one aspect of habitual approach is known as Set • Set is related to the way one is initially prepared to appraised and initiate a solution to a problem • a special type of Set is known as Functional fixedness • this type of set prevents us from seeing new and useful ways of using facts of objects to which calls -Functional Fixedness • see slides • • -Problem Solving • Sudden insight- the "aha!" solution • this type of creative or insightful solution is less common than would subjectively seem to be the case • it is widely held that the relief or satisfaction of realizing the solution may serve to obscure the route that led to the solution -Problem Solving • Duncker (1945) argued that problem solving consists of a series of progressively more specific formulations of the problem each based in part upon the previous reformulation • Duncker's Tumor problem provides the clearest support for this view of problem solving • each reformulation is based on what you did most previously • individually the skills can solve the reformation problems -Duncker's Tumor problem • University students were presented with the following problem: • Given an inoperable tumour and a ray that at high intensities would destroy both healthy and diseased tissue, how can the tumour be destroyed with out damaging the surrounding tissue? -Duncker's Tumor problem • responses fit a series of stages • Stage I- initial responses were a reformulation of the problem in a goal directed manner (Ie "general or essential properties of a solution" Solutions offered here were not practical eg "desensitize healthy tissue") -identify the solutions state • Stage II- solutions with functional value- when X is achieved the problem will be solved; identify how to get to the appropriate state • Stage III- how to achieve X -Duncker's Tumor problem • Stage II- Get the ray to the tumour without damaging healthy tissue • Stage III- a) Focus ray with lenses (not possible for X-ray)- thus reject • Stage III- b) Use several converging rays each too weak to hurt healthy tissue but where they converge strong enough to destroy tumor • find out that we will focus the power of the rays (in order not to damage the healthy tissue); have the summed power of the rays (individual rays aren't strong enough alone) • target location is the same for every ray; make sure all rays will end at the same spacial location; not focusing with the lens • This outline of problem solving is still the basis for current interpretations of Intentional Problem Solving • narrow things down until you get something manageable; must know goal stated -Intentional Problem Solving • Stage 1:Interpret (frame) and understand the problem • Stage 2:Generate hypotheses or possible soluitons • Stage 3:Test the solutions, hypotheses, seeking to disconfirm one or more of them • Stage 4: Evaluate results and if necessary, revise steps 1,2 or 3 -Problem Solving • in addition to Intentional problem solving some problems may be solved through implicit learning • Implicit learning refers to knowledge which is extracted from experience without conscious effort tan may be employed to solve a problem intentionally -Implicit Learning & Problem Solving • What follows is a brief example of an experiment which demonstrates Implicit Learning and subsequent problem solving • You will be presented with a series of letter strings to memorize. Each string will be presented for 1 second. After the string is presented you will have 5 seconds to write the string down • -Classical and Operant Learning in Problem Solving • Both of these learning
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