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PSYC 100 - 7 Cognition.docx
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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 100
Professor
Peter Graf
Semester
Fall

Description
Cognition  Cognition : Mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating o Psychologists study concept formation, problem solving, decision making, judgment formation • Concept: Mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people o Concept = Car= four wheels, door, ceiling • Prototype: Mental image or best example of a category o Prototype = Truck, Minivan, Convertible o Matching items to prototype provides quick method to include items in a category • Artificial Intelligence – Designing and programming computer systems to do intelligent things and to simulate human thought processes Solving problems • Algorithm - Methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem o Slow but accurate • Heuristic - Simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments efficiently o Fast but inaccurate o Representativeness Heuristic  Judging the likelihood of things based on how they represent/match prototypes  May lead one to ignore relevant info o Availability Heuristic  Estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory  If events come readily to mind we assume they are common • Insight - A sudden/novel realization of the solution to a problem Decisions and judgments • Confirmation Bias - Tendency to search for info that confirms preconceptions • Fixation - Inability to see a new perspective of a problem o Often impedes problem solving • Mental Set - Tendency to approach a problem in a set way o Esp. in a way that has been successful • Functional Fixedness - Tendency to think of things in terms of their usual functions o Impedes problem solving • Cognitive Illusion - Data has been interpreted incorrectly despite algorithmic thinking • Anchoring Bias - Benchmark used to estimate guess • Overconfidence - Tendency to be more confident than correct o overestimate the accuracy of ones beliefs • Framing - The way an issue is posed; affects decisions and judgments • Belief Bias - Tendency for ones preexisting beliefs to distort logic • Belief Perseverance - Clinging to one’s initial conceptions after it has been proved false • Convergent thinking – thinking pointed toward one solution • Divergent thinking – searching for multiple possible answers to a question Language • Language - Our spoken/written/gestured works and how we communicate meaning with them • Phonemes (smallest unit of sound) → Morpheme (smallest unit of meaningful sound) → Syntax (word/sentence order) → Grammar (rules that enable us to communicate) • Semantics - Set of rules by which we derive meaning Language development • Cooing Stage → Babbling (speech development in which the infants spontaneously utters various sounds–3- 4 months) → holophrastic/one-word stage (1-2 yrs) → telegraphic speech / two-word speech (using mainly nouns and verbs, 18 months) o Genes design mechanics for language while experience activates them as it modifies the brain o New language learning gets harder with age Explaining language development • Skinner (operant conditioning) – association (sights of things with the sound of words), imitation (words/syntax modeled by others), reinforcement (smile/hug when child says something right) • Noam Chomsky (inborn universal grammar)– humans are born with a language acquisition device (ability to learn a language rapidly as children). Deprived exposure to language -> retarded development of language • Linguistic Determinism - Whorf’s hypothesis that language determines the way we think Memory – persistence of learning over time through storage and retrieval of information • Flashbulb memory – clear memory of an emotionally significant moment/event • Sensory memory – immediate, very brie
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