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Chapters 9,10,11,16.docx

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Psychology 1000
Ross Esson

Chapter 9 Notes: Thought, Language and Intelligence Language Consists of a system of symbols and rules for combining these symbols in ways that can produce an infinite number of meanings 3 critical properties essential to language: o Symbolic: sounds, signs o Structure: how symbols can be combined o Generative: symbols can be combined to generate an infinite number of messages Surface structure: consists of the way symbols are combined within a given language Rules for combination is called syntax Deep structure is the underlying meaning for the combined symbols rules for connecting the symbols is semantics Phonemes: the smallest units of sound that are recognized as separate in a given language (46 in English) Morphemes: the smallest units of meaning in a language, made by combining phonemes Biological foundations for acquiring a language: o Children begin to learn at a young age despite limited thinking skills o Sensitive period during which language is most easily learned Social learning processes: o Motherese o Operant conditioning o Parents do not typically correct grammar skills, but focus on deep structure (semantics) Telegraphic speech: two-word sentences that consist of a noun and a verb Bilingualism: a second language is learned best and spoken most fluently when it is learned during the sensitive period o Syntax depends on early acquisition o Mixing of languages at a young age not an issue o When a second language is learned at a young age, it is represented in the same part of the brain as the first language, but if learned at a later age, a different part of the brain Linguistic relativity hypothesis: language not only influences, but also determines what we are capable of thinking (Hopi do not have a past tense, so have trouble remembering past events) Today, it is thought that language doesnt determine how we think, but how we categorize o Propositional though: verbal sentences that we hear in our mind o Imaginal thought: images o Motoric thought: mental representations of motor movements Propositions: statements that express facts Concepts: basic units of semantic memory, mental categories Prototypes: the most typical and familiar members, used to define concepts o Requires that we notice only similarities among objects o May differ as a result of personal experience How we state propositions can influence how we try to solve the problem Reasoning and Problem-Solving Deductive reasoning: reason from top-down, from general principles to a conclusion Inductive reasoning: bottom-up, starting with specific facts and try to develop a principle Deductive conclusions are certain to be correct if the premises are accurate, but inductive reasoning leads to likelihood rather than certainty Hypothetico-deductive approach to scientific theory-building: deductive process in which they design experiments to formally test specific hypotheses Stumbling blocks in reasoning: o Distraction by irrelevant information o Failure to apply deductive rules o Belief bias: tendency to abandon logical rules in favour of personal beliefs Problem-solving: o Understanding the problem o Generate potential solutions o Testing the solutions o Evaluate results Mental set: the tendency to stick to solutions that have worked in the past, can often result in less effective problem-solving Problem-solving schemas: mental blueprints, processes for solving specialized classes of problems Algorithms: formulas or procedures that automatically generate correct solutions Heuristics: general problem-solving strategies that we apply to certain classes of situations Means-end analysis: an example of a heuristic, we identify a difference between the present situation and desired state, make changes that will reduce this difference o Subgoal analysis: people can attack a large problem by formulating subgoals towards a solution Representativeness heuristic: used to infer how closely something fits our prototype for a particular concept Availability heuristic: causes us to base judgment and decisions on the availability of information in memory Confirmation bias: tend to look for evidence that will confirm what we currently believe rather than looking for evidence that could disconfirm it Intelligence A concept that refers to the ability to acquire knowledge, to think and reason Sir Francis Galton: first scientific studies of mental skills, 1869 genius is inherited Alfred Binet: developed a measure of mental skills o Mental age William Stern: Intelligence Quotient (IQ) = mental age/ chronological age x 100 Todays intelligence tests provide an IQ score based on the persons performance relative to the scores of a large sample of other people their age deviation IQ Stanford-Binet scale: mostly verbal items, make a single IQ score Wechsler scale: intelligence measured by a group of distinct but related verbal and non-verbal abilities Achievement test: how much has been learned Aptitude test: measure potential for future learning Psychological test: method for measuring individual differences in some psych. concept Reliability is the consistency of measurement (like time) o Test-retest reliability: type of measurement consistency, measures should be stable over time Internal consistency: consistency within the test itself (measuring the same thing) Interjudge reliability: consistency of measurement when different people score the same test Validity: how well a test measures what it is designed to o Construct validity: is it actually measuring intelligence or something else? o Content: whether the items on a test measure all the skills that are assumed to comprise the construct o Predictive validity: how highly test scores correlate with criterion measures Standardization: well-controlled environment for administering the intelligence test so that other uncontrolled factors will not influence scores o Collection of norms for a wide population Psychometrics: the statistical study of psych. tests o Factor analysis: analyzes patterns of correlations between test scores o Spearman (1923): intellectual performance is determined partly by general intelligence (g factor) Primary mental abilities: mental performance depends on 7 distinct abilities (Thurstone) o Space o Verbal comprehension o Word fluency o Number facility o Reasoning o Perceptual speed o Memorization Crystallized intelligence: the ability to apply previously acquired knowledge to current problems Fluid intelligence: the ability to deal with problem-solving situations for which personal experience does not provide a solution inductive reasoning, creativity Cattell and Horn: over a lifetime, progress from fluid to crystallized Cognitive process theories: try to explain why people vary, by relating the types of individual variation to the cognitive skills they have Triarchic theory of intelligence (Robert Steinberg, 1998) o Metacomponents: higher-order, plan and regulate task o Performance components: actual mental processes o Knowledge-acquisition components: learn from experience, combine with insight Steinberg suggests that environmental demands call for 3 manifestations of intelligence: o Analytical o Practical o Creative Sex differences in cognitive abilities: o Women excel in matching, perceptual speed, ideational and verbal fluency o Men excel in spatial tasks, target-directed motor skills o Biological and environmental factors can account for this hormones, socialization Extremes of intelligence: o Cognitively disabled: 3-5%, IQs between 50-70 About 25% have known biological causes, genetic causes like Downs o Intellectually gifted: higher than normal IQ, above 120
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