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PSYC 1010
Jennifer Steeves

PSYC 1010 Exam-AID Review Package 3 Tutors: Stephanie Cargnelli | [email protected] Amanda Sharples | [email protected] 1 York SOS Preface This document was created by the York University chapter of Students Offering Support (York SOS) to accompany our PSYC 1010 Exam-AID session. It is intended for students enrolled in any section of Dr. Jubis! 2010/2011 PSYC 1010 course who are looking for an additional resource to assist their studies in preparation for the exam. References Weiten, W., & McCann, D. (2010). Psychology: Themes and variations (2nd Canadian ed.). Toronto, ON: Nelson. Contents Tips for General Midterm Success | page 3 Chapter 7: Human Memory | page 4 Chapter 8: Language and Thought | page 12 Chapter 9: Intelligence and Psychological Testing | page 20 Chapter 10: Motivation and Emotion | page 28 What is Students Offering Support? Students Offering Support is a national network of student volunteers working together to raise funds to raise the quality of education and life for those in developing nations through raising marks of our fellow University students. This is accomplished through our Exam-AID initiative where student volunteers run group review sessions prior to a midterm or final exam for a $20 donation. All of the money raised through SOS Exam-AIDs is funneled directly into sustainable educational projects in developing nations. Not only does SOS fund these projects, but SOS volunteers help build the projects on annual volunteer trips coordinated by each University chapter. 2 York SOS Tips for General Midterm Success Use mnemonics to remember concepts better. An example of a mnemonic would be acronyms. For instance, knowing the word “ocean” can help you remember the Big Five personality traits: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Do practice multiple choice questions. Doing these practice questions can assess your understanding of what you!ve learned and can help you identify areas of weakness. Practice multiple choice questions are found in textbooks, on textbook companion websites, and/or provided by your professor. Psychology: Themes and Variations has practice questions in it and on its online companion website ( Read a multiple choice question and try to answer it BEFORE looking at the possible answers. Having an answer in mind before looking at possible answers can reduce the chances of being fooled by wrong answers. Use logic and process of elimination on multiple choice questions. For example, if you know that answer A is wrong, then logically an answer “A and B are correct” in the same question must also be incorrect. When you don!t know the answer, eliminating wrong answers (as opposed to just random guessing) can increase your chances of getting the question right. Practice writing answers to short answer questions. If you know ahead of time what the questions will be on the short answer section, make a list of essential points you want to include in each answer and practice writing the answer on paper. If you don!t know what questions will be on the short answer section, you could try scanning the material to identify concepts that have enough content to be a possible short answer question. Again, you can make a list of essential points you want to include in each answer and practice writing the answer on paper. Even if the question you thought of doesn!t show up on the short answer section, doing this can help solidify what you learned. Don’t spend too much time on a difficult question. It is better to move onto easier questions to ensure getting those marks than to get hung up on a difficult question, especially when time is limited. Get adequate sleep the night before your test. Sleeping at night helps consolidate what you learned during the day into memory so that it is better remembered in future. Not only does staying up late the night before a test destroy your concentration during the test the next day, but your brain has not effectively learned the material. 3 York SOS Chapter 7: Human Memory ................................................................................................................................. ........... Introduction Encoding: forming a memory code Storage: maintaining encoded information over time Retrieval: recovering information from memory stores Encoding: Getting Information into Memory Next-in-line Effect: tendency to forget much of what was said before they took their turn speaking Attention: focusing awareness on a narrowed range of stimuli or events - linked to a filter that screens out most potential stimuli while allowing a few select stimuli to pass through to consciousness awareness - filter found in early (during sensory input) or late (after brain processing)? o evidence for both, therefore filters assumed to be not fixed, but flexible between 2 extremes - people experience large reduction in memory performance when dividing attention between memory encoding and other tasks o as well as task performance when attention divided among several tasks ! e.g. driving while conversing on cell phone - information can be acquired through effort, but as well as automatically Levels of Processing - not all attention is equal - levels-of-processing theory: proposes deeper levels of processing result in longer-lasting memory codes o shallow processing (structural encoding): physical structure of stimuli o intermediate processing (phonemic encoding): what a word sounds like o deep processing (semantic encoding): meaning of the verbal input - deeper processing leads to enhanced memory - length of time is not reliable in determining level of processing Enriching Encoding - elaboration: linking a stimulus to other information at the time of encoding - visual imagery: creation of visual images to represent the words to be remembered o concrete images easier to encode than abstract (e.g. ‘juggler’ easier to encode than ‘truth’) 4 York SOS o dual code theory: memory is enhanced by forming semantic and visual codes, since either can lead to recall - self-referent encoding: deciding how or whether information is personally relevant o enhances recall by promoting additional elaboration and better organization of information Storage: Maintaining Information in Memory Sensory Memory: preserves information in its original sensory form for a brief time, usually only a fraction of a second - allows sensation of visual patterns (as afterimage, like sparkler), sound or touch to linger - retention of sensory input quickly loss if not acted upon Short-Term Memory (STM): limited-capacity store that can maintain unrehearsed information for up to about 20 seconds - store STM indefinitely through rehearsal: process of repetitively verbalizing or thinking about information o e.g. repeating a phone number you’re about to dial - duration of STM has been found to be shorter with different approaches - loss of information due to decay as well as interference from competing material - George Miller pointed out that people can recall only about 7 items in task with unfamiliar material - increase capacity of STM by combining stimuli into larger, possibly higher- order units called chunks: group of familiar stimuli stored as a single unit o easier to recall chunks when related with information from long- term memory - considered now as working memory (more responsibility): o STM found to be not limited to phonemic encoding 1) phonological rehearsal loop: represented STM in earlier model 2) visuospatial sketchpad: permits people to temporarily hold and manipulate visual images 3) executive control system: controls deployment of attention 4) episodic buffer: temporary, limited-capacity store that allows various components of working memory to integrate information and serves as interface between working memory and long-term memory Long-Term Memory (LTM): unlimited capacity store that can hold information over lengthy periods of time - 1 theory suggests information is permanently stored in LTM o forgetting results from inability to retrieve information 5 York SOS o e.g. patients recall long lost memories through electrical stimulation of brain - flashbulb memories: unusually vivid and detailed recollections of momentous events (e.g. 9/11, people can recall where they were, etc.) o closer scrutiny shows: ! long lost memories show distortions and impossibilities ! flashbulb memories become less detailed and complete and are often inaccurate - no convincing evidence as of yet Are Short-Term Memory and Long-Term Memory Really Separate? - sensory memory may be nothing more than perceptual process - separation of STM and LTM based on different encoding o STM : phonemic encoding and forgetting due to decay; LTM: semantic encoding and forgetting due to interference o STM found to have elements of LTM - other view: STM is tiny and changing portion of LTM - radical view: 1 single, unitary memory store Organization of Memory - conceptual hierarchies: multilevel classification system based on common properties of items o clustering: tendency to remember similar or related items in groups - schemas: organized cluster of information about an object or event abstracted from previous experience with the object of event o e.g. recalling things in things in the office that weren’t there, but they’re associated with the office o relational schemas: regularities associated with social settings - semantic networks: consists of concepts joined by pathways of linking related concepts o ovals represent nodes, shorter lines = closer relationships - connectionist networks or parallel distributed processing (PDP) models: assume that memories consist of patterns of activation in connectionist networks that resemble neural networks o differs from semantic network because piece of knowledge is represented by a particular pattern of activation across an entire network Retrieval: Getting Information Out of Memory Using Cues to Aid Retrieval - tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon: temporary inability to remember something you know, accompanied by the feeling that it’s just out of reach (increases with age) - people can partially remember what they’re trying to recall 6 York SOS - memory can be jogged by retrieval cues Reinstating the Context of an Event - encoding specificity principle: better memory for information when conditions during encoding and retrieval are similar - context cues often facilitate retrieval of information (putting yourself back in the situation) - mood and state during encoding affect retrieval efforts o e.g. if you were enraged, intoxicated, etc. Reconstructing Memories and the Misinformation Effect - memories are sketchy reconstructions of the past that can be distorted (due to schemas) - misinformation effect: recall of an event is changed by misleading postevent information o e.g. witness accounts in court Source Monitoring and Reality Monitoring - source monitoring: process of making attributions about the origins of memories (trying to pinpoint when something occurred) - source-monitoring error: occurs when memory derived from 1 source is misattributed to another source o explains cryptomnesia: inadvertent plagiarism - reality monitoring: process of deciding whether memories are based on external sources (one’s perception of actual events) or internal sources (one’s thought and imagination) Forgetting: When Memory Lapses How Quickly We Forget: Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve - Hermann Ebbinghaus conducted forgetting research on himself using nonsense syllables - determined forgetting curve: graphs retention and forgetting over time - concluded most forgetting occurs very rapidly after learning something - important to remember he worked with meaningless material and his curve is very steep Measures of Forgetting - retention: refers to proportion of material retained (remembered), kinds: o recall measure: subjects reproduce information on their own without cues o recognition measure: subjects select previously learned information from an arrow of options (e.g. multiple choice questions) ! tendency to be easier than recall measure (difficulty varies) 7 York SOS o relearning measure: subject memorizes information a second time to determine how much time or how many practice trials are saved by having learned it before Why We Forget - pseudoforgetting: forgot something you never really learned (due to lack of attention) o due to ineffective encoding o e.g. penny design o e.g. studying textbook while doing something else, you could just be reading it outloud (phonemic encoding, which is inferior to semantic encoding) - decay theory: forgetting occurs because memory traces fade with time (found in sensory input, STM, not evidence supporting LTM) - interference theory: people forget information because of competition from other material o decreasing similarity of material should reduce interference o types: ! retroactive interference: new information impairs retention of previously learned information ! proactive interference: previously learned information interferes with retention of new information - retrieval failure: failure in the process of retrieving o encoding specificity principle: states value of retrieval cue depends on how well it corresponds to the memory code o transfer-appropriate processing: initial processing of information is similar to the type of processing required by subsequent measure of retention ! poor fit between processing done during encoding and the processing invoked by the measure of retention - motivated forgetting: o repression: keeping distressing thoughts and feelings buried in unconscious Repressed Memories Controversy - recent years show surge of reports of recovered memories of previously forgotten sexual abuse in childhood - psychologists and psychiatrists assert sexual abuse in childhood is far more widespread than most people realize - abuse is repressed and sometimes later the individual experiences amnesia for the abuse o evokes coping efforts in parents in an attempt to block awareness of abuse o study is debatable: women could have lied due to embarrassment, normal forgetfulness, etc. 8 York SOS - critics blame a minority of therapists for using the power of suggestion to attribute al psychological problems to child abuse, implanting false memories - important to remember that some cases are authentic - experiments show it is easy to create memory illusions (false memories) - many memories of abuse recovered: o under hypnosis: promotes distortions o dream interpretation: subjective - rebuttals: o experiments deal with insignificant memories o implantation of entire multiple scenarios? In Search of the Memory Trace: Physiology of Memory The Biochemistry of Memory - one study showed memory formation due to alterations in synaptic transmission at specific sites (performed on sea slugs) - hormonal changes can either facilitate or impair memory o theory that hormones modulate activity in amygdala and neurotransmitter systems o other study suggests adequate protein synthesis necessary for memory formation The Neural Circuitry of Memory - may be possible to map out specific neural circuits that correspond to at least some types of specific memories o long-term potentiation (LTP): long-lasting increase in neural excitability at synapses along a specific neural pathway o memory formation may stimulate neural growth and emergence of new neural circuits (additional synapses) Anatomy of Memory - hippocampal area damaged first in Alzheimer’s disease o explains memory loss - many agree hippocampus and adjacent areas plays key role in consolidation: hypothetical process involving gradual conversion of information into durable memory codes stored in LTM o hippocampus does not store memories, memories widely distributed in cortex - theorists who’ve been influenced by parallel distributed processing (PDP) suggest hippocampal area binds individual elements of a specific memory (organizing neural networks) - recent research suggests amygdala seems to be critical to the formation of memories for learned fears - central executive of working memory may be situated in prefrontal cortex 9 York SOS Systems and Types of Memory 1) Implicit versus Explicit Memory: - amnesiacs displayed long-term retention but they have no LTM (implicit memory) Implicit memory: apparent when retention is exhibited on a task that does not require intentional remembering (unconscious and unaffected by age, drugs, amnesia, etc.) Explicit memory: requires intentional remembering (conscious) Reason?: 1. different cognitive processes encode and retrieve for either memories 2. either memories handled by independent memory systems 2) Declarative versus Procedural Memory: Declarative memory system: handles factual information Procedural memory system: houses memory for actions, skills, operations, and conditioned responses (some believe it to be connected to implicit memory because it is unconscious) 3) Semantic versus Episodic Memory: - some amnesiacs forget only episodic or only semantic memories Episodic memory system: made up chronological, or temporary dated, recollections of personal experiences (e.g. watching Star Wars) Semantic memory system: contains general knowledge that is not tied to the time when the information was learned (e.g. remembering Christmas is on Dec. 25) 4) Prospective versus Retrospective Memory: - influenced by the type of task: habitual or infrequent - some require cues (time or event-based) Prospective memory: remembering bearing to perform actions in the future Retrospective memory: remembering bearing events from the past or previously learned information Featured Study: The Neuroscience of Time Travel Constructive Episodic Simulation hypothesis: remembering past and simulating hte future should draw on similar kinds of information from episodic memory and utilize similar types of neural processes Results - brain imaging indicated considerable overlap in the brain regions that were active in remembering the past and imagining the future for the construction phase (thinking of an event) and elaboration phase (explaining the event) 10 York SOS Personal Application: Improving Everyday Memory Mnemonic devices: methods used to increase the recall of information - overlearning: continued rehearsal of material after apparent mastery - serial-position effect: occurs when subjects show better recall for items at the beginning and end of a list than for items in the middle - more effective recall in divided study rather than mass study - reduce interference by allocating study for specific courses on separate days - depth of processing more important than frequency of studying - organized information is more easily memorized than non-organized - narrative methods: make a story that includes all words in a list in proper order - rhymes: e.g. “I before E except after C” - link method: forming a mental image of items to be remembered as a way that links them together - method of loci: involves taking imaginary walk along a familiar path where images of items to be remembered are associated with certain locations - keyword method : associate a concrete word with an abstract word and generate an image to represent the concrete word Critical Thinking: Understanding the Fallibility of Eyewitness Accounts Inaccuracy - reasons for eyewitness inaccuracies: o reconstruction distorted by schemas o source-monitoring errors (e.g. mixing up someone’s face with someone else) o distortions due to new information Hindsight Bias: tendency to mould our interpretation of the past to fit how events actually turned out Overconfidence: tendency to be overconfident about the reliability of their memory - fuelled by failure to seek disconfirming evidence 11 York SOS Chapter 8: Language and Thought ................................................................................................................................. ........... Introduction Cognition: mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge Language: Turning Thoughts into Words Language: consists of symbols that convey meaning plus rules for combining those symbols that can be used to generate an infinite variety of messages - language is symbolic: sounds represent objects, actions, events, ideas - language is semantic: arbitrary words have similar meanings (e.g. pen, stylo, pluma) - language is generative: limited symbols are combined to generate infinite messages - language is structured: messages have structures that are governed by rules Structure of Language - human languages have hierarchical structure - phonemes: smallest speech units in a language that can be distinguished perceptually o e.g. /p/ in pill o 40 in English language - morphemes: smallest units of meaning in a language o e.g. ‘unfriendly’ has 3 morphemes: un (prefix), friend (word), ly (suffix) o approx. 50,000 in English language - semantics: area of language concerned with understanding the meaning of words and word combinations - denotation: dictionary definition of a word - connotation: includes emotional overtones and secondary implications - syntax: system of words that specify how words can be arranged into sentences (grammar) Milestones in Language Development - 3-month-old infants can distinguish phonemes from all world languages, whereas adults can’t readily discriminate the phonemes o ability disappears between 4 months to 12 months - by 7.5 months: infants begin to recognize common word forms - by 8 months: many infants show first signs of understanding meanings of familiar words - 1-5 months: reflexive communication like crying, cooing, laughter - 6-18 months: babbling, variety of sounds that correspond to phonemes o origin?: 12 York SOS ! 1. motor achievement: reflects brain’s maturation in controlling the motor operations needed to eventually produce speech (byproduct of development) ! 2. key linguistic achievement: mechanism allowing infant to discover and produce “patterned structure of natural language” - 10-13 months: most children begin to utter sounds that correspond to words - by 18 months: toddlers can say 3-30 words o toddlers can understand more words spoken by others than they can produce o generally, early words are nouns (concrete) because they’re easier to encode than verbs - 18-24 months: vocabulary spurt o fast-mapping: process by which children map a word onto an underlying concept after 1 exposure (factor in vocabulary spurt) o overextension: child incorrectly uses a word to describe a wider set of objects or actions than it is mean to (~1 to 2" ) ! e.g. using ‘ball’ for round objects such as an orange, moon, etc. o underextension: child incorrectly uses a word to describe a narrower set of objects or actions than it is mean to ! e.g. child uses ‘doll‘ to refer only to a single, favourite doll - end of 2 ndyear: children begin to combine words into “telegraphic” sentences o telegraphic speech: consists mainly of content words; articles, prepositions, and other less critical words are omitted (not universal) o mean length of utterance (MLU): average length of youngsters’ spoken statements (measured in morphemes) - end of 3 year: children can express complex ideas (e.g. plural or past tense) o overregulations: grammatical rules are incorrectly generalized to irregular cases where they do not apply ! e.g. “The girl goed home” o children acquire grammatical skills gradually in small steps - school-age years: children generate longer and more complicated sentences as they receive more formal training in written language o metalinguistic awareness: ability to reflect on the use of language ! children learn to play with language (e.g. puns, jokes, sarcasm, etc.) Janet Werker: studies language development in infants - babies have perceptual biases that facilitate language acquisition - optimal periods for different subsystems are involved in language acquisition 13 York SOS - e.g. facilities for foreign phonemes disappear, facilities tune to phonemes of native language Laura-Ann Petitto: began working with chimps, teaching them American Sign Language - recently examining an “island of tissue” in the brain that may trigger language development Bilingualism: acquisition of 2 languages that use different speech sounds, vocabulary, and grammatical rules - some studies show bilingual children have smaller vocabularies in each of their languages than monolingual children in their own language - bilingual children have similar or slightly superior total vocabulary (when both languages’ vocabularies are combined) to monolingual children - little empirical evidence of language disadvantage in bilingualism - bilinguals may be slower in terms of speed of raw language-processing - bilinguals scored somewhat higher than monolinguals on measures of cognitive tasks - Ellen Bialystok examined effects of bilingualism on children’s cognition for many years o bilingualism associated with higher levels of controlled processing on attention tasks o bilingual children show an advantage on some aspects of metalinguistic awareness o bilingualism appears to have no negative effects on cognitive development o recently found that bilingualism helps attenuate age-related losses in cognition Second Language Acquisition - language more effectively acquired at a young age, especially 7 - acculturation: degree to which a person is socially and psychologically integrated into a new culture o greater culture acculturation: more rapid acquisition of new language - other factors: o aptitude for language o integrative motivation: willingness to become a valued member of language community o positive attitude towards language o interest in the language Can Animals Develop Language? - researchers have trained chimps to use American Sign Language (ASL) - Washoe: chimp acquired a sign vocabulary of about 160 words and was able to combine words into simple sentences 14 York SOS o critics argue the chimps’ vocabulary were byproducts of imitation and operant conditioning (instead of mastering rules of language) - Sue Savage-Rumbaugh worked with bonobo pygmy chimpanzees o Kanzi: chimp acquired hundreds of words and has used them in thousands of combinations o Panbanisha: Kanzi’s younger sister also shows many of her brother’s feats o Kanzi’s combinations seemed to follow rules of language and he understood 72% of 660 sentences that were spoken to him o humans are far superior to any animal in acquiring language o language is an innate human characteristic - Steven Pinker argues human’s talent for language is a product of natural selection o David Premack refutes by saying that small differences in language would influence reproductive fitness in primitive societies Theories of Language Acquisition 1) Behaviourist Theories: - Skinner argued children learn language through imitation, reinforcement, and other established principles of conditioning - correct vocalizations are reinforced - children learn syntax through imitation and reinforcement 2) Nativist Theories: - parents may not engage much in the language shaping o e.g. parent will correct child if child is factually incorrect (not syntax) - Noam Chomsky pointed out there are infinite number of sentences in a language - e.g. ‘-ed’, children will use it incorrectly but not after an adult has used it incorrectly - humans equipped with language acquisition device (LAD): innate mechanism or process that facilitates the learning of language o reasoning: ! children develop language rapidly and effortlessly ! language unfolds at roughly the same age for most children 3) Interactionist Theories: - assert biology and experience both make important contributions to language development o cognitive theories suggest language development is an important aspect of general cognitive development (depends on maturation and experience) o social communication theories emphasize functional value of interpersonal and social context in which language evolves 15 York SOS o emergentist theories argue neural circuits supply language that are not prewired but emerge gradually in response to language experience Culture, Language, and Thought Benjamin Lee Whorf advocates linguistic relativity: hypothesis that one’s language determines the nature of one’s thought - e.g. English language has 1 word for ‘snow’, Inuit language has many for it - critics argue that English has more words for ‘snow’ and that Inuit words for ‘snow’ could be assigned through causal observation rather than perceptually - recent evidence supporting linguistic relativity: o different colour categories: blue and green are defined by 1 name in some African languages o subjects find it harder to discriminate blue from green, and vice versa Problem Solving: In Search of Solutions Types of Problems - problem solving: active efforts to discover what must be done to achieve a goal that is not readily attainable - insight: sudden discovery of correct solution after incorrect attempts based on trial and error - Jim Greeno proposed basic classes of problems: 1. Problems of inducing structure - require people to discover relations among numbers, words, symbols, or ideas - e.g. Merchant : Sell :: Customer : ______ 2. Problems of arrangement - require people to arrange parts of a problem in a way that satisfies some criterion - e.g. Crossword 3. Problems of transformation - require people to carry out a sequence of transformations in order to reach a specific goal - e.g. water jug problem (3 pitchers of different amounts of water, try to get a given amount) Barriers to Effective Problem Solving 1. Irrelevant Information - often distract people - people tend to assume numerical data is relevant 2. Functional fixedness: tendency to perceive an item only in its most common use 16 York SOS 3. Mental set: people persist in using problem-solving strategies that have worked in the past - people struggle when their strategy fails to work in certain scenarios - explains why experts sometimes have trouble with problem-solving efforts in their area of expertise 4. Unnecessary Constraints - assuming constraints that do not exist in the problem Approaches to Problem Solving - problem space: refers to the set of possible pathways to a solution considered by the problem solver Using Algorithms and Heuristics - trial and error: trying possible solutions and discarding those that in error until one works - algorithm: methodical, step-by-step procedure for trying all possible alternatives in searching for a solution to a problem o guarantees solution o impractical when problem space is large - heuristics: guiding principle or “rule of thumb” used in solving problems or making decisions o allows you to discard some alternatives, while pursuing selected alternatives that appear likely to lead to the solution o do not guarantee solution - heuristics: o Forming Subgoals ! breaking the problem into intermediate steps helps problem solving o Working Backward o Searching for Analogies ! problems with similar solutions but structured differently ! people fail to see superficial details, rather than the underlying structure o Changing the Representation of the Problem ! problems can be represented in various way ! best representation of a problem depends on the nature of the problem Culture and Problem Solving - field dependence-independence: tendency to rely primarily on external versus internal frames of reference when orienting themselves in space - field dependent people tend to focus on total context of a problem, instead of identifying specifics or breaking it up - field independent people tend to focus on specifics and reorganize component parts 17 York SOS - studies show field-independent people outperform field-dependent people on a variety of classic laboratory problems - field independence encouraged in modern Western society and nomadic societies - field dependence encouraged in sedentary agricultural societies and societies stressing conformity - Richard Nisbett argued Easterners display holistic cognitive style and Westerners display analytic cognitive style o Easterners focus on the whole, Westerners focus on the parts Decision Making: Choices and Chances Decision making: involves evaluating alternatives and making choices among them - theory of bounded rationality: asserts that people tend to use simple strategies in decision making that focus on only a few facets of available options and often result in “irrational” decisions that are less than optimal (Herbert Simon) - some theorists conclude that “normal adult human subjects do a singularly bad job at the business of reasoning, even when they are calm, clearheaded, and under no pressure to perform quickly” - many decisions involve choices about preferences - additive strategy: o listing influential attributes o generally used when there are few options - elimination by aspects strategy: o assumes alternatives are eliminated by evaluating them on each attribute or aspect in turn o generally used when there are many options - risky decision making: involves making choices under conditions of uncertainty o expected value is negative but balanced by subjective utility (e.g. dream of wealth) o sometimes the person doesn’t know the actual probability (subjective probability) - difficulties in choosing an option delay decisions, when acceptable alternatives are available - people have perplexing tendency to pursue additional information that doesn’t influence their decision Common Heuristics and Flaws - in estimating probabilities, people often ignore information on the base rates of events o e.g. there are more salespersons than librarians - studies on animals show they tend to make sound choices that approximate optimal decision making 18 York SOS - availability heuristic: involves basing estimated probability of an event on the ease with which relevant instances come to mind o e.g. thinking the letter J is appears more in the first position than the third position - representativeness heuristic: involves basing the estimated probability of an event on how similar is it to the typical prototype of that event o e.g. tossing a coin numerous times, TTTT or THTH more probable? ! each time, H or T has an equal chance of coming up - conjunction fallacy: occurs when people estimate the odds of two uncertain events happening together are greater than the odds of either happening alone Paradox: humans appear so dumb (we are prone to irrationality), while animals appear so smart - argument 1: rationality inaccurately measured - argument 2: cognitive psychologists have formulated problems poorly Fast and Frugal Heuristics - humans’ reasoning depends on fast and frugal heuristics that are simple, which are effective most the time to be adaptive to real world o e.g. recognition heuristic: between 2 stimuli, the one that is more recognized has greater value - dual-process theories: people depend on 2 very different modes of thinking when making decisions Featured Study: Babbling in the Manual Mode Discussion - babbling is evident in deaf infants as manual babbling (their own language form) - babbling is tied to language development capacity of infant Personal Application: Understanding Pitfalls in Reasoning about Decisions Pitfalls - gambler’s fallacy # belief that the odds of a chance event increase if the event hasn’t occurred recently - people tend to overestimate the improbable (e.g. flood, murder, etc.) - confirmation bias: tendency to seek information that supports one’s decisions and beliefs while ignoring disconfirming information - belief perseverance: tendency to hang on to beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence - putting too much confidence into estimates, beliefs and decisions (overconfidence effect) 19 York SOS - framing: refers to how decision issues are posed or how choices are structured Critical Thinking: Shaping Thought with Language “Only a Naïve Moron Would Believe That” Semantic Slanting: choosing words that create specific emotional responses Name-calling: neutralizing or combat views by attributing views to unpopular groups Chapter 9: Intelligence and Psychological Testing ................................................................................................................................. ........... Key Concepts in Testing Psychological test: standardized measure of a sample of a person’s behaviour Principle Types of Tests 1) Mental Ability Tests: • Intelligence tests: measure general mental ability • Aptitude tests: assess specific types of mental abilities • Achievement tests: tests mastery and knowledge in specific areas of study 2) Personality Tests: measure various aspects of personality, including motives, interests, values and attitudes Standardization: uniform procedures used in the administration and scoring of a test - all subjects are given the same treatment Test norms: provide information about where a score on a psychological test tanks in relation to other scores on that test - sample of people that the norms are based on (standardization group) - different norms for different societies (e.g. Canadian norm different from American) Percentile score: percentage of people who score at or below the score one has obtained Reliability: measurement of consistency of a test - test-retest reliability compares subjects’ scores after 2 administrations of a test - correlation coefficient: numerical index of the degree of relationship between 2 variables, -1.00 to +1.00 (greater than 0.70 is good) Validity: ability of a test to measure what it was designed to measure, as well as accuracy and usefulness of the inferences and decisions based on a test 20 York SOS • Content validity: degree to which the content of a test is representative of the domain it’s supposed to cover • Criterion-related validity: correlation of subjects’ scores on a test with their scores on an independent criterion (another measure) of the trait assessed by the test o check validity by correlating scores with other tests for the same trait • Construct validity: extent to which there is evidence that a test measures a particular hypothetical construct (measures for abstract qualities, e.g. intelligence, etc.) o usually looks at correlations between a series of studies and the trait Intelligence Testing History Francis Galton believed intelligence was passed on through genetic inheritance - devised first intelligence tests dealing with sensory acuity - invented concepts of correlation and percentile scores Alfred Binet launched modern intelligence testing in 1905 - devised a scale to measure mental age: how the child displays mental ability typical of that chronological age o e.g. a mental age of 6 performed like the average 6-year-old Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale - expanded on Binet’s work, by incorporating a new scoring scheme, intelligence quotient (IQ): child’s mental age divided by chronological age, multiplied by 100 o IQ = Mental Age/Chronological Age x 100 - undergone several updates in the past David Wechsler published an improved measure of intelligence for adults called the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) - eventually extended it to children as well - innovations: o less dependent on verbal ability (distinguished a verbal, nonverbal IQ and full IQ) o new scoring system, discarded IQ for system based on normal distribution and standard deviation ! adopted by Stanford-Binet, but IQ term remained into present day Intelligence Testing Today - include individual (tailored and administered by psychologist) and group (can be administered to large numbers) tests 21 York SOS Basic Questions about Intelligence Testing Answers - intelligence tests contain a diverse mixture of questions that require abstract reasoning - normal distribution: bell-shaped curve that represents the pattern in which many characteristics are dispersed in the population - deviation IQ scores: locate subjects precisely within the normal distribution, using the standard deviation as the unit of measure (introduced by Wechsler) o can be converted into percentile scores - most modern tests set 100 as the mean and use 15 as the standard deviation - intelligence tests try to test intellectual potential, not factual knowledge, but they really reflect both - IQ tests are highly reliable (in the 0.90s correlation) - IQ tests originally made to predict school performance o tests are valid in academic/verbal intelligence, but don’t tap into practical and social intelligence - IQ scores are correlated with occupational attainment but not specific occupational performance o prompted employers to issue personality tests to job applicants - IQ tests not widely used in most non-Western cultures o used in Japan, but not China and India o problematic with respect to language due to cultural differences o different cultures value intelligence differently Extremes of Intelligence Mental retardation: subaverage general mental ability (IQ < 70-75) accompanied by deficiencies in adaptive skills (everyday living skills, e.g. dressing oneself)
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