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Chapter 9

Chapter 9 review.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
Anita Cramp
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 9 Language Mental representations: cognitive representations of the world, including images, ideas, concepts, and principles, that are the foundations of thinking and problem solving Language: a system of symbols and rules for combining them that can produce an almost infinite number of possible meanings and messages - “jewel in the crown of cognition” and “human essence” - Advanced cognitive process that builds up a large store of knowledge and is foundation for intelligent behaviour Psycholinguistics: the scientific study of the psychological aspects of language such as how people understand, produce and acquire language Functions of Language - Evolved as people gathered to form larger social units so people could communicate, pass on knowledge and cooperate (made it easier for people to survive and adapt to environmental needs) - Human brain has an inborn capacity to acquire language - Even in our conscious takes form as self-talk (voice inside your head) - Allows us to share thoughts, feelings, goals, memories etc. with other people and learn new things Properties of Language - Symbols/ Structure: o Sounds, written characters, hand signs etc. o Arbitrary but have an agreed-on meaning to everyone in that language o Grammar: set of rules that dictate how symbols can be combined to create meaningful units of communication (i.e. 5 consonants cannot be put in an unbroken sequence or the way words have to be arranged in a sentence) o Syntax: the rules for the combination of symbols within a given language; rules that govern the order of words o Symbols and grammatical rules vary across languages o New phrases and words occur regularly but they all still follow the basic rules of that language - Meaning: o Ability to form and then transfer mental representations to the mind of the other person (extracting meaning/ understanding) o Semantics: rules for connecting symbols to what they represent  Saying you nailed a test doesn’t mean you hammered the test to the wall but that you did well on it - Generativity: o A characteristic of symbols of language that can be combined to generate and infinite number of messages that have novel meaning o English has 26 letters that can be arranged into half a million words and then combined to make an limitless amount of sentences o Displacement: refers to the fact that language allow us to communicate events and objects that are not physically present  You can discussed the past and future or events taking place else where or imaginary situations Structure of Language: - Surface Structure: consists of the symbols that are used and their order - Deep Structure: underlying meaning of the combined symbols o Sentences can have different surface structures but the same deep structure (ex. Sam at the cake; the cake was eaten by Sam) o A surface structure may also have more than one deep structure ( the police must stop drinking after midnight; police must stop other people from drinking or they themselves must stop drinking) o You are more likely to remember the deep structure (the meaning) of a sentence than the surface structure (the exact words) - Hierarchical Structure o Phoneme: smallest unit of sound in a language; these are the vowel and consonant sounds that are recognized in any given language (45 in English) o Morpheme: smallest unit of meaning in a given language (whole words, prefixes, suffixes etc) (100,000 in English) th o Discourse: 6 level of the hierarchical structure of language in which sentences are combined into paragraphs, articles, books, conversations etc o Phoneme< Morphemes< Words< Phrases< Sentences< Discourse Understanding and Producing Language: - Context as helps understand what is being said to you - Bottom-up Processing: individual elements of a stimulus are analyzed and then combined to form a unified perception - Top-down Processing: sensory info is interpreted in light of existing knowledge, concepts, ideas and expectations - Speech Segmentation: perceiving where each word within spoken sentence begins and ends o We do not pause after all words to indicate word is finished o Irwin Pollack and J.M Pickett study - Pragmatics: in language learning, a knowledge of the practical aspects of using language; understanding a social context (“Do you have the time?” saying “10:20” instead of “Yes, I do” and walking away or being more formal in a job interview than you would talking to your friends) - Language Functions, the Brain, and Sex Differences: o Broca’s area: left hemisphere in the frontal lobe is involved in word production and articulation o Wernicke’s area: rear part of temporal lobe is involved in speech comprehension o Aphasia: the loss of ability to understand speech or produce it  Females share more language function with right hemisphere compared to men Acquiring A First Language: - Biological Foundations: o Human children begin to master language early without formal instruction (biologically primed to acquire a language) o Language Acquisition Device (LAD): according to Noam Chomsky, an innate biological mechanism that contains the general grammatical rules common to all languages  Children has “switches” in brain that turn on or off depending on what language they are learning - Social Learning Processes o Mothers and fathers converse with children with child-directed speech, point out objects, name things, answering questions and reading aloud to help the children to learn o B.F Skinner: said children’s language development is governed my parents’ positive reinforcement of appropriate language and nonreinforcement (correction) of inappropriate language…. However, this is not modern belief… parents enforce good deep structure instead o Language acquisition support system (LASS): according to Jerome Bruner, the factors in the social environment that facilitate the learning of a language - Developmental Timetable and Sensitive Periods: o By 5 years of age, children who were initially non-verbal creatures are now able to understand and produce complex language o There is a sensitive time period from birth to puberty where someone can learn language however, past that point it is very difficult/ almost impossible Bilingualism: - Learned best during that sensitive period before puberty - Bilingual children show superior cognitive processes - Non-English speaking immigrants perform better when taught in both native language and English - People who are bilingual are less likely to drop out of school, have a higher self-esteem and achieve higher academic performance Linguistic Influences on Thinking: - Linguistic relatively hypothesis: the idea, suggested by Benjamin Whorf, that people’s language determines the ways in which they perceive and think their world; language not only influences but also determines what we are capable of thinking - Modern day psychologists semi-agree with Whorf by saying it does not determine but only influences how we think, categorize and attend to our daily experiences; language can colour our perceptions and decisions Thinking Thought, Brain and Mind: - Specific patterns of brain activity that composes a particular subset varies from moment to moment as we experience different thoughts and respond to changing stimuli - Thinking is the language of the brain - Propositional thought: thinking that takes the form of verbal sentences that we say or hear in our minds - Imaginal thought: a form of thinking that uses images that can be from any sense modality - Motoric Thought: mental representations of motor movements, such as throwing an object - All three modes of th
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