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Chapter 9

Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Representativeness Heuristic, Availability Heuristic, Deep Structure And Surface Structure

Course Code
PSYCH 1000

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- evolutionary theorists believe that language evolved as humans gathered to form larger
social units
The Nature and Structure of Language
-Language: a system of symbols and rules for combining these symbols in ways that con
produce an almost infinite number of possible messages or meanings
- Three properties:
oLanguage is symbolic: uses sounds, written signs, or gestures
Displacement: past, future, and imaginary events and objects that are not
physically present can be symbolically represented
oLanguage has a structure: has rules that govern how symbols can be combined to
create meaningful communication units
oLanguage is generative: symbols can be combined to generate an almost infinite
number of messages that can have novel meaning
Surface and Deep Structure
-Psycholinguists: study the psychological properties of language and the underlying
mechanisms that produce it
-Surface structure: the way symbols are combined within a given language rules for
these combinations is syntax: rules of grammar
-Deep structure: the underlying meaning of the combined symbols the rules for
connecting the symbols to what they represent are known as semantics
- Recall deep structure easier than surface structure (meaning over specific words)
Language from the Bottom Up
-Phonemes: the smallest units of sound that are recognized as separate in a language
English uses about 46
- Capable of producing hundreds, but most languages use 40-50
-Morphemes: the smallest units of meaning in a language prefixes and suffixes
- More than 100,000 morphemes which can form nearly 500,000 words
Acquiring a Language
Biological Foundations
- children, despite limited thinking skills, begin to master language early in life without
any formal instruction
- despite differences at the phoneme level, languages developed all over the world seem to
have common underlying deep structure
-in between 1 and 3 months, children vocalize the entire range of phonemes found in all
the world’s languages called “cooing”
-at around 6 months, they make sounds of their native tongue, and stop making the
phoneme sounds of other languages called babbling
-sensitive period during which language is most easily learned infancy-puberty
- language deprived children who were found past puberty seemed unable to acquire
normal language skills
Sex Differences
-Broca’s area speech production
-Wernicke’s area speech comprehension

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-Aphasia a disruption in speech comprehension and/or production
- Men who suffer left hemisphere strokes are more likely to show aphasia
oWomen’s language function is shared between left and right hemisphere
Social Learning Process
-motherese a high-pitched intonation that seems to be used all over the world
- parents teach by pointing out objects and naming them
-Skinner operant conditioning explanation children’s language development is
strongly governed by adults reinforcing appropriate language and vice versa
oNo longer believed b/c it has been found that parents typically do not correct
their children’s grammar, rather focus on the “truth value”
-by second year of life, children utter two-word sentences called telegraphic speech, that
consist of a noun and a verb (want cookie)
- vocab of a language can be learned at any age, but mastery of the syntax and grammar
depends on early acquisition
- bilingual children show superior cognitive processing over monolingual ppl and, show
enhanced performance on tasks that require control of attention
Linguistic Influences on Thinking
-Whorf linguistic relativity hypothesis language not only influences, but
determines what we are capable of thinking
-linguists today disagree say language can influence how we think, how efficiently we
can categorize our experiences, and the detail we put into them
-propositional thought: verbal sentences we hear in our minds
-imaginal thought: consists of images we see, hear, or feel, in our mind
-motoric thought: mental representations of motor movements
Concepts and Propositions
-much of our thinking is in the form of propositions: statements that express facts
-propositions are combinations of concepts usually one subject, one predicate
-concepts: basic units of semantic memory – mental categories into which we place
objects, activities, abstractions, and events
-may concepts are defined by prototypes: the most typical and familiar members of the
-deductive reasoning: from general principals to a conclusion “top-down”
ogiven a proposition, if X then Y, if X occurs, you can infer Y syllogism
-inductive reasoning: from specific facts to a general principal “bottom-up”
ocertain to be correct if the premises are true, but leads to likelihood rather than
-belief bias: the tendency to abandon logical rules in favour of our personal belief
Problem Solving
Stages of Problem Solving
1. Interpret (frame) and understand the problem
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