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Chapter 9

Chapter 9

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

Chapter 9 - mental representation - cognitive representations of the world, including images, ideas, concepts, and principles, that are the foundations of thinking and problem solving Language - displacement - refers to fact that past, present, future, and imaginary events and objects that are not physically present can be symbolically represented and communicated through the medium of language - language is symbolic, has structure, and is generative - surface structure - consists of the way symbols are combined within a given language - rules for these combinations are syntax (rules of grammar) - deep structure - refers to the underlying meaning of the combined symbols - semantics - rules for connecting the symbols to what they represent - phonemes - smallest units of sound that are recognized as separate in a given language - English uses about 46 phonemes - morphemes - smallest units of meaning in a language (syllables) - language-deprived children found at 6 years old seemed to be able to develop normal language abilities - language-deprived children past puberty seemed to be unable to acquire normal language skills - Broca's area - located in left hemisphere's frontal lobe - is involved in speech production - Wernicke's area - in rear portion of temporal lobe - is involved in speech comprehension - those suffering with damages in one or both areas suffer from aphasia (a disruption in speech comprehension and/or production) - telegraphic speech - two-word sentences that consists of a noun and a verb - linguistic relativity hypothesis - the idea, suggested by Benjamin Whorf, that people's language determines the ways in which they perceive and think about their world - to date, most linguists do not agree with Whorf - Whorf thinks language determines how we think - argued that language instead can influence how we think, how we efficiently categorize our experiences, how much detail we attend to our daily experience - language can create and maintain stereotypes - ex: using gender neutral words VS using "he", "men" - how one encodes information affects perception and memory in important ways - Asian languages facilitate development of mathematical skills - learn from a base-10 mode of thinking - propositional thought - statement that expresses an idea in subject-predicate form - 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) - prototypes - most typical and familiar member of a class of things - Eleanor Rosch suggests people often decide which category something belongs to based on its degree of resemblance to the prototype - reasoning (A) deductive reasoning - reason from the "top down" - general principles to specific cases - basis of formal mathematics and logic - if X then Y, if X occurs, then you can infer Y - conclusions are true if premises are true (B) inductive reasoning - reason from the "bottom up" - start with specific facts and develop a general principle - leads to likelihood rather than certainty - hypothetico-deductive approach to scientific theory building - if results from experimental tests do not support hypotheses, conclude explanation or theory cannot be correct and must be revised or discarded Stumbling Blocks in Reasoning - unsuccessful deductive reasoning can result from: - distraction by irrelevant information - not focusing on relevant information and take into account the irrelevant that leads them astray - failure to apply deductive rules - learned use of general problem-solving methods (like formal logic and mathematical formulas) are usually used in certain situations and one failed to apply them to new problems - belief bias - tendency to abandon logical rules in favour of our personal beliefs - many confuse factual correctness with logical correctness Stages of problem-solving 1 - interpret (frame) and understand the problem 2 - generate hypotheses or possible solutions 3 - test the solutions, hypotheses, seeking to disconfirm one or more of them 4 - evaluate results and, if necessary, revise steps 1, 2, or 3 - heuristics - general problem-solving strategies that we apply to certain classes of situations - mental shortcuts - means-ends analysis - identify differences between present situation and one's desired state or goal, then make changes that will reduce these differences - subgoal analysis - a problem-solving heuristic in which people attack a large problem by formulating subgoals, or intermediate steps toward a solution - representativeness heuristic - a guide in estimating the probability that an object or event belongs to a certain category based on the extent to which it represents a prototype of that category - availability heuristic - a guideline used to make likelihood judgements based on how easily examples of that category of events come to mind, or are "available" in memory - confirmation bias - tendency to look for evidence that will confirm what they currently believe, rather than looking for evidence that could disconfirm their beliefs Intelligence in Historical Perspective (1) Sir Francis Galton: Quantifying Mental Ability - study showing eminence and genius seemed to occur across generations within certain families - approach to mental skills measurement fell into disfavour because his measures of "nervous system efficiency" proved unrelated to socially relevant measures of mental ability (like academic and occupational success) - did set the stage for Alfred Binet (2) Alfred Binet's Mental Test - forerunner of all modern "intelligence tests" - certain children not benefitting from public schooling - educators wanted objective way to identify these children earlier on to be able to create specialized education - created test to see if children were performing at correct mental level for their age - mental age - the mental level or age at which a child is performing as determined by a "standardized interview" in which the child responds to a series of questions - William Stern expanded concept of mental age to provide relative score - intelligence quotient (IQ) - an IQ of 100 indicates individual's average for his or her age group - scores today now based on norms derived from people of various ages - IQ = (mental age/chronological age) x 100 - today's tests do not use concept of mental age - deviation IQ - standardized distance or deviation a score is above or below the mean for a particular sample (3) The Stanford-Binet and Wechsler Scales - revised Binet's test and made it relevant to American culture - contained mostly verbal items, yielded single IQ score - Wechsler scale - intelligence test developed for adults and for children that measured as a group of distinct (but related) verbal and non-verbal abilities - series of subtests that fall into: verbal tests and performance tests - test yields 3 different summary scores: performance IQ, verbal IQ, full-scale IQ - most widely used test in US - achievement test - designed to find out how much one has learned - aptitude test - containing novel puzzle-like problems, presumably going beyond prior learning and thought to measure one's potential for future learning and performance - psychological test - a method for measuring individual differences related to some psychological construct, based on sample of relevant behaviour obtained under standardized conditions - 3 key measurement concepts: (1) reliability - refers to consistency of measurement - test-retest reliability - assessed by administering measure to same group of participants on 2 different occasions and correlating the two sets of scores - internal consistency - involves all the consistency of measurement within the test itself - interjudge reliabilit
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