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Ch 8_

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Louisiana State University
PSYC 2000

Chapter 8 Thinking Language and IntelligenceCognitive building blocks Mental Images concepts and languageI Mental Images nonverbal mental representations of a sensory experience can be exceptionally powerfulaImages allow us to think in nonverbal waysII Concepts mental categories for classifying specific people things or events iConcept dog includes properties that are common to all or most dogs a furry fourlegged mediumsized animal that barks iiConcepts provide a way of categorizing experiences so that encounters with something new is not surprising iiiConcepts can be organized in hierarchies with narrowest most specific category at bottom and most general at top ivMany concepts are fuzzy they overlap one another and are often poorly defined If we cannot explain difference between mouse and rat how can we use fuzzy concepts in our thinking Prototype a mental model containing the most typical features of a concept RoschBecause natural categories are fuzzy prototypes are only the best and most suitable models of a concept not perfect and exclusive representations of it vGiven such variations how o we decide which objects belong to a concept We decide what is most probable or most sensible given the facts at hand It is not sensible to put lions in the concept of birds They do not have many commonalities Rosch we rely on degree of category membershipIIILanguage a flexible system of symbols that enables us to communicate our ideas thoughts and feelingsiLanguage has long been considered a defining feature of human cognition iiIn one way or another all animals communicate How does human language differ from nonhuman animal communication1Nonhuman animals communicate primarily through signsgeneral stereotyped communications about animals current state aHumans use signs but are not limited to signs2Displacement communicating about something beyond here and nowaUnderlies analytical thinking3Productivity ability to add new communicationsIVStructure of languageaPhonnemes basic sound units of language that indicate changes in meaning iWhich sounds are meaningful depends on the language bMorphemes smallest meaningful units of speech simple words prefixes suffixes
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