Psychology 3130A/B Study Guide - Final Guide: Status Quo, George Lakoff, Chromosome

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Similarity Week 2
City block vs. Euclidean metrics
Theories of Similarity = geometric, contrast, alignment, transformational
Similarity and thinking (memory retrieval) activation theory is important bc it spreads to other concepts,
spreads faster for things that are more similar
o Spreading activation theory based on similarity
When looking at the geomtric model, use formula to calculate similarity between 2 objects by
understanding the distance between them in psych space
Euclidean = most direct method possible (shortest distance b/w 2 points), like how birds fly from point A to
point B…however this is not always possible
City block = more steps and takes you longer
When to use which when comparing similarity between 2 objects
o City = when dimensions are perceptually separable (fish)
o Euclidean = when dimensions are perceptually inseparable (2 colors)
3 Problems with geometric model
Minimality: thing must be closer to/more similar to itself than any other
o However, can be violated in letter identification
o E.g. letter “c” can be shown to be more similar to O than w is to itself
C:O < W:W (bc W has more features)
Symmetry: assumes object symmetrical
o E.g. distance between A and B is same as B and A
o Violated: Amos Tversky says North Korea more similar to China than China to NK
Triangle Inequality: straight line connecting 2 points is shortest path between two points
o However sometimes doesn’t work in psych space
o ** pink red, white circle example
o Euc. Distance shorter than city block but in ratings not how it appears, perceive AD more similar
in psych space bc like ideas 2 circles are same size
Contrast Model
o account for shortcomings of geo.
o Says similarity = result of feature matching
o Simiarlity of A and B is expressed as linear combo of the measures of the common and distinctive
o Predicts asymmetric similarity bc a isn’t constrained to equal b
o E.g. NK more Similar to China than VS bc China has more salient features
Alignment model: feature comparisons are important…tries to specify how and why features should count
Transformation model: assumes things are similar if one can be transformed into another, and similarity is a function
of how many steps it takes to transform
E.g. water to steam = 1 step, very similar
Similarity is flexible
Availability and representativeness
Availability heuristic = way in which memory influences our thinking behaviour
Ppl make judgements and decisions on basis of relevant memories they retrieve
o On basis of evidence
Working memory model
Working memory divided in terms of duration, assume there are sensory and ST memory systems which
can process info actively for ST use
Working memory closely tied to active, conscious processing
By Alan Baddeley
Assumes there is a system of neurological structures that work to process immediate sensory info
Working memory systems acts as buffer so info can be maintained, processed further or discarded
Auditory and verbal info is handled by system called the phonological loop
o Store that is connected to inputs from auditory cortex
o Memory trace in phon loop will face after 2 seconds uless maintained
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Visual and spatial handled by visuospatial sketchpad
Coordination handled by central executive
Diff varieties of ST and LT memory
Declarative memory = memory that can declare existence of memory for ideas, facts, events, places,
personal characteristics
Non-declarative = things that are hard or impossible to declare existence of such as procedural memory and
motor memory
Semantic memory: memory for facts
Episodic: memory for past memory with personal connection
Memory Errors
Seven sins (Daniel Schacter): lays out seven key ways in which the very feature that allow our memories to
work so well also guarantee some kinds of errors
All implications for how thinking can be affected by and undermined by memory failures
o Transience, absent-mindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias, persistence
E.g. DRM test: list of words to remember, see words around sleep but not actually sleep most convinced
they had seen that word…indicated explicitly seeing it, clearly memory error
Dual Process Theory
Accounts for how thought can arise in two different ways or result of two different processes
Implicit (automatic), unconscious process and explicit (controlled) conscious process
Concepts and Categories: Week 3
Core Assumptions of Classical View
It emphasizes categories as strict classes
However, too rigid to be realistic
Two core assumptions:
o Central to theory is idea of necessary and sufficient conditions as qualifiers for category
o Second: categorization is absolute; members of a class are of equal standing
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
Conditions that need to be met for something?
E.g. the necessary conditions of a dog
Reside within strict hierarchy
Wittgenstein and family resemblance
Family resemblance = idea members of a category or class resemble each other but don’t share one single
defining characteristic
argues that things which could be thought to be connected by one essential common feature may in fact be
connected by a series of overlapping similarities, where no one feature is common to all of the things
follows prototype model? Where category of things is represented in mind
o summary representation of the category
Prototype and Rosch’s view
idea that comes out of Rosch’s work is idea that category membership is probabilistic
o rather than be ing based on set of necessary and sufficient conditions and residing within strict
hierarchy, concept is thought to represent a category of things that are grouped together with
shared feature and overlapping similarity
referred to as probabilistic view, category membership is not definite
prototype assumes category is represented by central tendency known as prototype
o summary representation
o classify objects by comparing them to prototype
Basic Level Categories (superordinate and subordinate)
high within similarity (members very similar)
low between members of contrast, seem to be very dissimilar
Hierarchical organization
Superordinate lvl (low w/in, low b/w)
E.g. Plant, animal, vehicle
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Basic: high w/in, low b/w Dog, Cat, Lizard
Subordinate: High within and high b/w Lab, German Shepard, Husky
Typicality and typicality effects
Basic hierarchical model doesn’t deal w/ typicality effects
Typicality effect is problematic for any definitional or rule based account of concepts
Occurs wen people rate some category exemplars as being better or more typical category members than
others (e.g. what makes dog typical? Hairless dog is still a dog but view as one less so)
Thought and Language: Week 4
Hocketts’ design features
Charles Hockett described 13 characteristics of human languages
o All features of human language that suggest a unique and highly evolved system designed for
communication with others and also with self (e.g. thinking)
o E.g. vocal/auditory channel (transfer b/w vocal and auditory apparatus), broadcast
transmission/directional reception (signal can be sent out in many directions, but perceived in
one), rapid fading, semanticity (language has semantic content)
Linguistic relativity and Sapir/Whorf
Says language influences cognition
Thought native language influences thought
Inuit have more words for snow, can perceive more dif in snow and distinction
Weak vs. strong versions
o Weak “language limits thought”
o Strong “language determines thoughts”
Malt’s work on bottles, jars, etc
Barbara Malt: looked at naming of objects; jars and jugs
Spanish speakers label them same, North Americans don’t
If linguistic determinism held true Spanish speaker should show less ability to classify them
Results didn’t support this
Didn’t differ much when classifying these containers via similarity
o Might have same label for all of the diff objects, but when asked to sort them into groups based on
similarity, all sorted them roughly the same
Linguistic label didn’t interfere with their ability to perceive and process surface features
Boroditsky’s research on time
Noted that across diff language and cultures there are differences in the metaphors that people use to talk
about time (final ex. Of how language affects thinking)
Related to Lakoff’s idea of conceptual metaphors
English talk about it as if its horizontal (pusb deadline back), While Mandarin speak as if it is on a vertical
Categorical perception
Phonemes differ by voice onset time
“ba” short VOT (voice onset time)
“pa” longer VOT
create a ba to pa continumm (by varying VOT)
o identification or discrimination
is categorical perception
Conceptual metaphors
George Lakoff suggested that conceptual metaphors play a big role in how a society thinks of itself
o Iraq war ex: one is aggressive action against a country, other is aggressive act taking place in a
Argues these conceptual metaphors constrain and influence the thinking process
Suggest there is an interaction between a given conceptual metaphor and produced statements and utterance
and that this interaction relates to how we understand the world
Induction: Week 6
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