Midterm Chapter Review (9-13)
Chapter 9: Language and Thinking
Humans are puny in relation to other animals but we can think, reason and
Mental Representations: include images, ideas, concepts, and principles.
Language: Consists of a system of symbols and rules for combining these symbols
in a way that can generate an infinite number of possible messages.
Psycholinguistics: The scientific study of the psychological aspects of
language. How people understand, produce, and acquire language.
Adaptive Functions of Language: time lags tell us that human though and behavior
depends on more than the physical structure of the brain, because although human
brain hasn’t evolved much over the past 50,000 years, human linguistics definitely
Properties of Language:
Language is symbolic and structured
o Grammar – set of rules that dictate how symbols can be combined in
order to create meaning – full units of conversation.
o Syntax – the rules that govern the order of words.
Language conveys meaning
o Semantics – the meaning of words and sentences.
Language is generative and permits displacement
o Generativity – means that the symbols of language can be combined to
generate an infinite number of messages that have novel meaning.
o Displacement – refers to the fact that language allows us to
communicate about events and objects that are not physically present.
The Structure of Language:
Surface and deep structure:
o Surface structure – to read, listen to, or produce a sentence. Its surface
structure consists of the symbols used and their order.
o Deep Structure – underlying means of symbols and their structure
The Hierarchical Structure od language:
o Phoneme – smallest unit of speech sound in a language that can signal
a difference in meaning.
o Morphemes – smallest units of meaning in a language. (log, ball ect.)
o Discourse – sentences are combine into paragraphs, articles, books
Understanding and Producing Language:
The role of bottom up processing: individual elements are analyzed and then
combine to create a unified perception. o This is used when analyzing the building blocks that make up
The role of top down processing: sensory information is interpreted in light
of existing knowledge, concepts, ideas and expectations (bead bread ex)
o Speech Segmentation – perceiving when each word in a spoken
sentence begins and ends
Pragmatics: the social context of language.
o Pragmatics – the knowledge of the practical aspects of language.
Language Functions, the Brain, and Sex Differences
o Broca’s or Wernicke’s area damage creates aphasia a impairment in
speech comprehension/production that can be permanent or
Acquiring a First Language:
Biological Foundations – infants open to and language phonemes but then
discriminate to native language phonemes.
o Language Acquisition Device (LAD) – an innate biological mechanism
that contains the general grammatical rules (universal grammar)
common to all languages.
Social Learning Process: plays the central role in acquiring language.
o Language acquisition support system (LASS) – to represent the fatods
in the social environment that facilitate the leaning of language.
Developmental Timetable and Sensitive Periods: maturation of speech
mechanisms and experiential factors combine the influences, language
acquisition proceeds according to a developmental timeline common to all
Second language learned best when in early period of childhood.
o Mastery of syntax and grammar
French immersion students showed to outperform monolingual students in
Linguistic Influences on Thinking:
Linguistic relativity hypothesis: not only influnces but determines what we
are capable of thinking. Thinking:
Thought, Brain and Mind:
Propositional thought –expresses propostional in the form of a verbal
sentence (ex. I’m hungry)
Imaginal Thought – consist of images that we see, hear or feel in out mind.
Motoric Thought – mental representation of motor movements, such as
throwing an object
Concepts and Propositions:
Proposition – most of out thinking is is this form, statements that express
Concepts – are basic units of semantic memory (mental categories in which
we place objects, activities, abstractions)
Prototypes – typical members of a class (vegetable broccoli)
Reasoning: helps us acquire knowledge, make decisions, and solve problems.
Deductive reasoning – top down, from general principles to a conclusion
about a specific case.
1. If all humans are mortal
2. And Socrates is a human
3. Then Socrates is mortal
Inductive Reasoning – reasons from bottom up, starting with specific facts
and trying to develop a general principal.
Stumbling Blocks in Reasoning:
o Distraction by irrelevant information
o Belief bias – tendency to abandon logical rules to favor personal
o Emotion and Framing
Framing –ideas structured in different ways
1. Understanding of framing the problem (initial understanding is a key step
forward in a successful solution)
2. Generating potential solutions
a. Determine which procedures and explanations will be considered.
b. Determine which solutions are consistent with the evidence that has
so far been observed. Rule out any solutions that do not fit evidence.
3. Testing solution
Mental set: tendency to use solutions that have worked in the
pasts – can result in a less effective solution.
4. Evaluating results Role of Problem solving Schemas: mental blueprints or step by step scripts
for selecting information and solving specialized classes of problems.
Algorithms and Heuristics:
o Algorithms – formulas for procedures that automatically
generate correct results
o Heuristics – general problem solving strategies that apply
to certain classes of situations
Identify differences in present and ideal situation
Then makes chances to reduce differences
Sub-goal analysis – intermediates steps to your
major goal at hand.
Uncertainty, Heuristics, and Decision Making:
Representativeness Heuristic: to infer how closely something or
someone fits our prototype for a particular concept, or class, and
how likely that thing would be a member of that class.
Availability Heuristic: causes us to base judgments and decisions
on the availability of information in memory
Confirmation Bias and Overconfidence:
Confirmation bias – tending to look for evidence to prove what they
already believe, rather than evidence that could disconfirm their
Overconfidence – tendency to overestimate ones correctness in
factual knowledge, belief and decisions.
Knowledge, Expertise, and Wisdom: knowledge forms a foundation for expertise
Acquiring Knowledge: Schemas and Scripts
Schema – a mental framework, an organized pattern of thought about
some aspect of the world.
Script – a mental framework concerning a sequence of events that unfolds
in a regular standardized order.
The Nature of Expertise: experts have gathered many schemas to guide the
problem solving in their field. Much better than novices on when each
schema should be applied.
Expert Schemas and Memory: when people become experts, their brain
increases processing efficiency. (Respond to more important stimuli)
Wisdom: represents a system of knowledge about the meaning and conduct
1. Rich factual knowledge (human nature, social relation, life events)
2. Rich procedural knowledge (decision making, conflict, advice) Mental Imagery: representation of a stimulus that originates within your brain
rather than from external sensory input.
Metacognition: Knowing your own cognitive abilities.
Recognizing what you do and don’t know
o Accurate judging of a self evaluated basis of knowledge
Furthering metacomprehension: focus on understanding of material, rather
than just memorizing it.
Intelligence: ability to acquire knowledge, to think and reason effectively and deal
adaptively with the environment.
Intelligence in a historical perspective:
Sir Francis Galton: Quantifying Mental Ability
Cousin of Charles Darwin and strong believer in his work
His work fell into disfavor as his measures of nervous system proved
Set the stage for Alfred Binet’s Mental Tests
Alfred Binet’s Mental Tests
Mental Age – result od the testing score of Alfred binet’s test.
expanded by the German psychologist William Stern’s intelligence
IQ = Mental age/Chronological Age (no longer use the concept )
The Nature of Intelligence: there are two major approaches to the study of
The Psychometric Approach
o Psychometrics: is the statistical study of psychology tests.
o Identify and measure the abilities that underlie individual differences
o Factor Analysis: reduces larger measures into smaller clusters with
o The G factor: general intelligence determines intellectual performace
o Specific Mental Abilities
Primary mental abilities – L.L Thurstone concluded that it was
not the g factor but 7 primary mental abilities (space, verbal
comp, word fluency…)
o Crystalized and Fluid Intelligence:
Crystalized Intelligence – is the ability to apply previously
acquired knowledge to current situations (vocab and info
Fluid Intelligence - ability to proceed through novel problem
solving in which personal experience is no help. Carroll’s Three-Stratum Model: establishes three levels of
Cognitive Process Approaches:
Cognitive process theories – explore the specific information processing and
cognitive processes that underlie intellectual ability.
Galtons triarchic Theory – addresses the psychological processes involved in
intelligent behavior and the many forms it can take. He divided the cognitive
process into thre components
o Metacomponents – higher order processes used to plan and regulate
o Performance Components – actual mental processing used to perform
o Knowledge acquisition components – learn from experience and
create new insights with memories
Steinberg’s thee types of intelligence:
o Analytical intelligence
o Practical intelligence
o Creative intelligence
Broader Conceptions of Intelligence
Gardeners Multiple Intelligence: he defined eight distinct varieties of
o Linguistic intelligence
o Logical mathematical intelligence
o Visuospacial Intelligence (architecture)
o Musical intelligence
o Bodily kinesthetic intelligence
o Interpersonal intelligence
o Intrapersonal intelligence (oneself)
o Naturalistic Intelligence (detect and understand phenomena)
Emotional Intelligence: involves the ability to
o Read other emotions o Be aware of ones
o Respond to them o Regulate and control
appropriately ones own emotions
o Motivate oneself
The Measurement of Intelligence:
Incr. Yield from Tests: Widening the abilities testing on creates a larger
informational yield from intelligence tests
Aptitude or achievement:
o Achievement test: how much they have learned so far in their lives. o Aptitude Tests: measure applicants potential for learning.
o Psychological test is a method for measuring individual differences
related to some psychological concept, or construct, based on a
sample of relevant behavior in a proper environment
o Reliability – consistency of measurement.
Test retest reliability – consistency over time
Internal consistency – items in test remain highly correlated
Interjudge reliability – consistency of measurement between
two items being tested
o Validity – is how well a test actually measures what it is designed to
Construct validity: properly measures what its designed to
Content Validity: range of knowledge tested
Terion-related validity: ability of test scores to correlate with
meaningful criterion measures.
o Standardization - the development of norms, and rigorously
controlled testing procedures
Norms – test scores derived from large samples that represent
a particular age segment of the population.
Normal Distribution – a bell shaped curve displaying the
distribution from the average
The Flynn Effect – random average increase on intelligence test
Static and dynamic testing
Static testing – all tested are responding to as similar of
a stimulus situation
Dynamic testing – feedback and info on improvement is
given, then retested
Hereditary, Environment and Intelligence:
The more people’s genes are in common, there is a correlation in IQ. (this
only last in childhood) displaying the environments role
Variability in intelligence is between a quarter to a third caused by
Flynn effect displays the environments influence as well
School shows to have an effect on IQ scores
Group Differences in Intelligence:
Ethnic Group Differences: significant ethnic IQ score differences do not exist nation
wide, but within the United States.
Are there tests biases?
o Outcome bias refers to the extent that it underestimates the
person’s true capacity.
o Predicative bias occurs if the test successfully predicts
criterion measures. Sex Differences in Cognitive abilities:
Differ in performance on certain intellectual tasks (stemming from the
pattern of cognitive skills)
Men outperform women on certain spatial tasks
Women on perceptual speed, verbal fluency
Partially bc of hormone differences developing the brain
Extremes of Intelligence
The Intellectually Gifted: small percentages of gifted children attain true eminence
later in life. Renzulli believed their success was a combo of these factors.
Highly developed mental abilities (both general and specific in chosen field)
Engage in creative problem solving
Motivation and dedication
Chapter 11: Motivation and Emotion
Motivation: process that influences the direction, persistence, and vigor of goal
Perspectives on motivation: diverse theoretical perspectives on motivation.
Instinct Theory and Evolutionary Psychology:
Instinct – an inherited predisposition to behave in a specific and predictable
way when exposed to a particular stimulus. (Genetic basis)
Human instinct theories faded because their was little evidence to support
Biological disposition to be social and share things
Homeostasis and Drive Theory
Homeostasis – state of internal physiological equilibrium that the body
strives for. (Air conditioning)
Drive Theory – physiological disruptions that motivate an organism to a
behavior to regain equilibrium/reduce tension. (Thirst)
Incentive and Expectancy:
Incentives – represent environmental stimuli that pull an organism toward a
Expectancy x Value Theory – goal directed behavior is determined by two
o The strength of the persons expectations that particular behavior will
lead to the goal
o Value the individual places on that goal
o Motivation = expectancy x incentive value
Extrinsic Motivation – performing to avoid punishment of gain reward.
Intrinsic Motivation – performing an activity for its own sake Psychodynamics and Humanistic Theories:
Need Hierarchy: a progression of needs containing deficiency needs at the
bottom and growth needs at the top.
Self-Actualization: represents the need to fulfill our own potential, which is
the ultimate human motivator.
Self-Determination Theory: focuses on three fundamental psychological
needs competence, autonomy and relatedness. – strongly supported by
o Autonomy (self determination)
o Relatedness (desire to form meaningful bonds)
o Competence (master new challenges and perfect skills)
Hunger and Weight Regulation
The Physiology of Hunger:
Metabolism – is the body’s rate of energy utilization.
o 2/3 of the energy we use supports the basal metabolism
o Satiety – state of no longer being hungry as a result of eating
Signals that start and terminate the meal
o Glucose – simple sugar that is the body and brains source of
immediate usable fuel
o Stomach and intestinal digestion sign the meal end
o CCK (cholecystokinin) – released by small intestine an sent to brain to
Signals that regulate general appetite and weight
o Leptin – a hormone that decreases appetite
o Paraventricular Nucleus (PVN) – a cluster of neurons packed with
receptor sites for various transmitters that stimulate or reduce
Psychological Aspects of Hunger
Women overestimate how thin they need to be
Men overestimate how bulky they need to be
Environmental and Cultural Factors: changing factors such as
Portion size Number of people present
Caloric density during a meal
Overfeeding The amount that others eat
Obesity: mixed factors are responsible for obesity. Doesn’t exactly point to
willpower or emotional disturbances.
Obesity rate is up 500%
Genes are partially to blame (hereditary metabolic rate)
o Abundance of inexpensive tasty high fat foods o Cultural emphasis on getting the best value
o Tech advances that decreases the need of physical activity
Dieting and weight loss
o Get caught in a vicious circle
o When heavy, dieting reduces metabolism, harder to exercise
Sexual Motivation: cited in some studies as a result of peer pressure of a marital
The Physiology of Sex:
Sexual Response Cycle – masters and Johnson concluded that people go
through a four stage cycle
a. Excitement phase
b. Plateau phase
c. Orgasm phase
d. Resolution phase
o Hypothalamus gonadotropins gonads secrete estrogen an
The Psychology of Sex:
Sexual Fantasy: sexual fantasy is extremely common, whether in the moment
of sexual intercourse of not.
Desire, Arousal, and Sexual Dysfunction: lack of interest or desire leads to a
failure to maintain arousal leading to sexual dysfunction.
Cultural and Environmental Influences:
Cultural norms – vary from very weird and liberal like in the Marquesas, or
conservative like in the weird Irish island.
Arousing Environmental Stimuli – erotic portrayals of sex trigger it
Pornography, Sexual Violence and Sexual Attitudes
o Porn is a multibillion dollar industry
o 39 percent of women have been sexually assaulted
o Whether there is a correlation, or the catharsis principle is in effect
Sexual orientation refers to one’s emotional and erotic preference for
partners of a particular sex.
Prevalence of different sexual orientations (hard to pinpoint)
Determinants of sexual orientation
o Higher concordance with gay siblings
Need for achievement – represents the desire to accomplish task and attain
standards of excellence.
The thrill of victory (motivated by mastery and social comparison)
The agony of defeat (motivated by fear and social comparision)
Family and cultural influences Motivational Conflict:
Approach-approach conflict: opposition between two attractive alternatives.
Choosing one means losing the other, and conflict is greatest when
opportunities have equal value.
Avoidance-avoidance conflict: choice between two unattractive alternatives,
opposite to approach-approach.
Approach-avoidance conflict: being attracted and repelled by the same goal.
Delay Discounting: future reward changes as the time for one has to what for
it decreases; incentive increases as its opportunity draws near.
The Nature and Function of Emotion:
Emotions – are positive or negative feelings consisting of a pattern of
cognitive, physiological, and behavior reactions to an event.
The Adaptive Value of Emotion
Some elements of emotion increase survival as reaction to danger is
Other elements help us create lasting relationships
Social form of communication by showing how we internally feel.
The Nature of Emotion:
Emotions share four common features