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Chapter 9

Chapter 9 Psychology.docx

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Western University
Psychology 1000

Chapter 9: Thought, Language, and Intelligence  Mental Representations -Cognitive representations of the world, including images, ideas, concepts, and principles, that are the foundations of thinking and problem solving  Language - “the jewel in the crowd of cognition” or “the human essence” - evolutionary theorists believe that language evolved as humans formed large social units - ability to form cooperative social systems, develop social customs, communicate thoughts to others, create divisions of labour, and pass on knowledge and wisdom were made EASIER because of LANGUAGE  The Nature and Structure of Language - consists of a system of symbols and rules for combining these symbols in ways that can produce an almost infinite number of possible messages/meanings - 3 properties: 1. Language is SYMBOLIC – uses sounds, written signs, or gestures to refer to objects, events, ideas, and feelings; displacement refers to the fact that past, future, and imaginary events and objects that are not physically present can be symbolically represented and communicated through language; does not restrict us to present 2. Language has a STRUCTURE – rules that govern how symbols can be used to make meaningful communication 3. Language is GENERATIVE – symbols can be combined to generate an almost infinite number of messages that have novel meaning;  Surface and Deep Structure -Psycholinguists study the psychological properties of language and the underlying mechanisms that produce it -Surface structure is the way symbols are combined within a given language -Deep structure is the underlying meaning of the combined symbols; rules for connecting symbols to what they represent are known as semantics  Language from the Bottom Up -phonemes are the smallest units of sound that are recognized as separate in a given language -morphemes are the smallest units of meaning in a language; stuff of which words are formed Discourse Sentence The players talked to the fans. Phrases The players talked to the fans Words The, players talked, to, the, fans Morphemes The, play, er, s talk, ed, to, the, fan, s Phonemes đ, pley, ər, z tok, t, tuw, đ, f, a, n, z  Acquiring a Language -language experts believe humans are born linguists, ready to recognize and produce sounds and structures to whatever language they are exposed to -children begin to master language early in life without instruction -all adult languages around the world have a common underlying deep structure -language acquisition represents the unfolding of a biologically primed process within a learning environment as part of the more general growth of cognitive capacities in a developing human -at 1-3 months of age, infants vocalize entire range of phonemes; this stage is called cooing because of the coo-like sound children make when they are happy -at 6 months of age, children begin to make sounds of their native tongue; begin to lose ability to perceive differences in the sounds of other languages -***Japanese vs. English language distinction*** -child`s vocalizations become more similar to the language to which they are exposed to (called babbling) -deaf children begin to babble just as hearing children who begin to speak vocally -linguists believe there is a sensitive period where language is easily learned (infancy to puberty) -language deprived children who were past puberty seemed unable to acquire normal language skills; almost similar to deaf children who use sign language  Sex Differences -Broca’s area = speech production -Wernicke’s area = speech comprehension -damage to both results in aphasia, disruption in speech comprehension/production -men who suffer from left hemisphere strokes are more likely than women to show severe aphasic symptoms -men exhibit left-hemisphere activation during a language task -women exhibit brain activation in both left and right hemispheres -high-pitched intonation that seems to be used all over the world is called motherese -Skinner stated that a child’s language development is strongly governed by adults’ reinforcing appropriate language and non-reinforcing inappropriate verbalization -modern psycholinguists doubt operant learning principles due to a child’s fast learning -parents do not correct their children’s grammar, but instead correct the deep structure of their sentences -children learn 2-word sentences that consist of a noun and a verb called telegraphic speech Age Speech Characteristics 1-3 months Infants can distinguish speech from non-speech sounds and prefer it (phonemes); undifferentiated crying gives way to cooing when happy 4-6 months Babbling begins to occur. Contains sounds form virtually every language. 7-11 months Babbling sounds narrow to include only the phonemes heard in the languages spoken by others. Moves tongue with vocalizations. Discriminates between some words without understanding their meaning and beings to imitate word sounds from others. 12 months First recognizable words spoken. 12-18 months Child increases knowledge of word meanings and uses single words to express phrases and requests. 18-24 months Vocabulary is 50-100 words. Telegraphic speech. 2-4 years Vocabulary expands by several hundred words every 6 months. Produce longer sentences, though grammatically incorrect, exhibit syntax. Can describe concepts with words and use language to describe imaginary ideas and objects. 4-5 years Children have learned basic grammatical rules for nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc.  Bilingualism -second language is learned best and spoken most fluently when it is learned during the sensitive period of childhood -vocabulary of a language can be learned at any age, but mastery of the syntax (rules of grammar) depends on early acquisition -early learning of multiple languages results in children confusing the two languages -bilinguals scored at least a well as monolinguals on performance tests -bilingual children show superior cognitive processing when compared to monolingual children -greater flexibility in thinking and better performance on standardized intelligence tests -research has found that non-English speaking immigrant children perform best in bilingual educational settings in which they are taught in their native language and English -When a second language is learned, is it represented in the same part of the brain as the first language? Answer: it depends on how early in life the new language is acquired and how well it is learned by the person  Linguistic Influences on Thinking -linguistic relativity hypothesis: language not only influences, but determines what we are capable of thinking -Rosch (1973) tested the hypothesis with the Dani of New Guinea; resulted that the Dani can discriminate between an assortment of hues in the same manner as English language -modern linguists state the language can influence how we think, how we efficiently categorize our experiences, and how much detail we attend to in our daily experience -language can also colour our perceptions and conclusions we draw (i.e. stereotypes) -language influences how well we think in certain domains (i.e. Asian children are taught mathematical skills different form English children) -propositional thought (verbal sentences that we seem to “hear” in our minds) -imaginal thought (images that we can “see”, “hear”, or “feel” in our mind) -motoric thought (mental representations of motor movements)  Concepts and Propositions -much of our thinking occurs in the form of propositions (statements that express facts) -concepts are basic units of semantic memory (mental categories into which we place objects, activit
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