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York University
PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

PSYC 1010 REBECCA JUBIS THINKING, LANGUAGE & INTELLIGENCE MODULE 27 COGNITION: all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering and communicating CONCEPTS: a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas or people PROTOTYPE: a mental image or best example of a category. Matching new items to a prototype provides a quick and easy method for sorting items into categories (as when comparing feathered creatures to a prototypical bird, such as a robin) - Some problems we solve through trial and error, others through algorithms ALGORITHM: a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem. Contrasts with the usually speedier- but more error-prone- use of heuristics HEURISTIC: a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently; usually speedier but also more error-prone than algorithms INSIGHT: a sudden realization of a problem’s solution; contrasts with strategy-based solutions  More of an aha! moment CONFIRMATION BIAS: a tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence - Once we incorrectly represent a problem, its hard to restructure how we approach it  Experiencing fixation; an inability to see a problem from a fresh perspective MENTAL SET: a tendency to approach a problem in one particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past - As a perceptual set predisposes what we perceive, a mental set predisposes how we think INTUITION: an effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or though, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning AVAILABILITY HEURISTIC: estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory; if instances come readily to mind (perhaps because of their vividness) we presume such events are common - We come to fear extremely rare events  but sometimes we lack comparable available images such as global climate change OVERCONFIDENCE: the tendency to be more confident than correct- to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgments  has adaptive value- people who err on the side of overconfidence live more happily BELIEF PERSEVERANCE: clinging to one’s initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited  must consider the opposite; become much less biased in their evaluation of the evidence FRAMING: the way an issue is posed; how an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgments  ‘ 10% death rate versus 90% success rate; information is the same, effect is not  those who understand the power of framing can use it to influence our decisions - Perils of intuitions feed gut fear and prejudices 1) Intuition is huge- unconscious influences on our judgment (dual processing) in making complex decisions, we benefit by letting our brain work on a problem without thinking about it 2) Intuition is usually adaptive 3) Intuition is recognition born of experience- implicit knowledge, what we’ve learned but can’t fully explain (i.e. riding a bike) - Do other species share out cognitive skills?  Animal consciousness and intelligence can be inferred from their behaviour  use concepts and numbers  display insight  use tools and transmit culture MODULE 28 LANGUAGE: our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning - For a spoken language, we would need three building blocks 1) Phonemes- the smallest distinctive sound units in a language  i.e. ch, a, t to form the word chat 2) Morphemes- the smallest units that carry meaning in a given language  i.e. ‘I,’ ‘a,’ prefix and suffix 3) Grammar- the system of rules that enable us to communicate with one another  semantics and syntax - Receptive Language ;the ability for infants to understand what is said to and about them around 4 months of age - Productive Language; the ability for babies’ to produce words; recognition between noun-verb differences around 4 months of age  babbling stage BABBLING STAGE: beginning at about 4 months, the stage of speech development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to the household language ONE-WORD STAGE: the stage in speech development, from about 1 to 2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words TWO-WORD STAGE: beginning about age 2, the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly in two-word statements TELEGRAPHIC SPEECH: early speech stage in which a child speaks like a telegram; ‘go car’- using mostly nouns and verbs - Noam Chomsky; universal grammar  all human language has nouns, verbs and adjectives as grammatical building blocks  we are born with a built-in predisposition to learn grammar rules; why preschoolers pick up language so readily  BUT we are NOT born with a built-in specific language - Human infants display a remarkable ability to learn statistical aspects of human speech  their brains not only discern word breaks, they statistically analyze which syllables most often go together - Childhood seems to represent a critical (or ‘sensitive’) period for mastering certain aspects of language before the language-window closes - Natively deaf children who learn sign language after the age of 9 never learn it as well as those who lose their hearing at age 9 after learning English  Those who learn language after childhood; can master basic words and learn to order them but they never become fluent as native signers in producing and comprehending subtle grammatical differences APHASIA: impairment of language, usually caused by left-hemisphere damage either to Broca’s area (impairing speaking) or to Wernicke’s area (impairing understanding) BROCA’S AREA: controls language expression- an area of the frontal love, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech WERNICKE’S AREA: controls language reception- a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression usually in the left temporal lobe - In processing language, as in other forms of information processing, the brain operates by dividing its mental functions – speaking, perceiving, thinking, remembering- into subfunctions - If by language we mean verbal or signed expression of complex grammar, most psychologists would now agree that humans alone possess language; but more simply if we mean it’s the ability to communicate through meaningful sequence of symbols, then apes are indeed capable of language LINGUISTIC DETERMINISM: Whorf’s hypothesis that language determines the way we think  we all think about things for which we have no words  we routinely have unsymbolized thoughts - A person may think differently in different languages, reveal different personality profiles  so while our words may not determine what we think, they influence our thinking- we use our language in forming categories  words also influence our thinking about colors- while many people see the same colors, we use our native language to classify and remember colors - Wallace Lambert  Bilingual language; although vocabulary in each language is somewhat smaller than that of people speaking a single language, bilingual people are skilled at inhibiting one language while using the other, thus better at inhibiting their attention to irrelevant information - Implicit Memory; nondeclarative, procedural memory = a mental picture of how you do it  i.e. direction of which you turn a doorknob - Mental Practice; uses visual imagery to mentally rehearse future behaviours, activating some of the same brain areas used during the actual behaviour Visualizing the details of the process is more effective than visualizing only your end goal o Outcome Stimulation; visualizing the end result o Process Stimulation; planning how to get to the end result - Thinking affects our language, which then affects our thought MODULE 29 - Intelligence is a concept and not a ‘thing’ - Intelligence has been defined as whatever intelligence tests measure = school smarts  but intelligence is not a quality like height or weight; people assign the term intelligence to the qualities that enable success in their own time and in their own culture INTELLIGENCE: mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations INTELLIGENCE TEST: e method for assessing an individual’s mental aptitudes and comparing them with those of others, using numerical scores GENERAL INTELLIGENCE (g): a general intelligence factor that, according to Spearman and others, underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore measured by every task on an intelligence test FACTOR ANALYSIS: a statistical procedure that identifies clusters of related items (called factors) on a test; used to identify different dimensions of performance that underlie a person’s total score - Thurstone, Spearman’s opponent gave 56 different tests to people and mathematically identified seven clusters of primary mental abilities 1) Word Fluency 2) Verbal Comprehension 3) Spatial Ability 4) Perceptual Speed 5) Numerical Ability 6) Inductive Reasoning 7) Memory - Kanazawa argues that general intelligence evolved as a form of intelligence that helps people solve novel problems; how to stop a fire from spreading, how to find food during a drought etc.  more common problems-such as how to mate or how to read a stranger’s face require a different sort of intelligence o general intelligence scores do correlate with the ability to solve various novel problems but do not much correlate with individuals’ skills in evolutionary familiar situations – marrying and parenting SAVANT SYNDROME: a condition in which a person otherwise limited in mental ability has an exceptional specific skill, such as in computation or drawing - Gardner argues that we do not have an intelligence, but rather multiple intelligences  using factor analysis, research has confirmed that there is a general intelligence factor; g matters- it predicts performance on various complex tasks and in various jobs - Sternberg’s Three Intelligences 1) Analytical (academic problem-solving) Intelligence- have a single right answer 2) Creative Intelligence- reacting adaptively to novel situations and generating novel ideas 3) Practical Intelligence- required for everyday tasks, with multiple solutions COMPARING THEORIES OF INTELLIGENCE THEORY SUMMARY STRENGTHS Spearman’s General - a basic intelligence - Different abilities, such as Intelligence (g) predicts our abilities in verbal and spatial, do have varied academic areas some tendency to correlate Thrustone’s Primary - Our intelligence may be - A single g score is not as Mental Abilities broken down into seven informative as scores for factors; word fluency, seven primary mental verbal comprehension, abilities spatial ability, perceptual speed, numerical ability, inductive reasoning, and memory Gardner’s Multiple - Our abilities are best - Intelligence is more than Intelligences classified into eight just verbal and independent intelligences, mathematical skills. Other which include a broad range abilities are equally of skills beyond traditional important to our human school smarts adaptability Sternberg’s Triarchic - Our intelligence is best - These three facets can be classified into three areas reliably measured that predict real-world success; analytic, creative and practical CREATIVITY: the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas  a certain level of aptitude (above a score of 120 on a standard intelligence test) supports creativity - Intelligence tests which demand a single correct answer require two kind of thinking engaging different brain areas; 1) Convergent Thinking 2) Divergent Thinking - There is not Creativity Quotient (CQ) corresponding to an IQ score; Sternberg has identified five components of creativity 1) Expertise 2) Imaginative Thinking Skills- provide the ability to see things in novel ways, to recognize patterns, and to make connections
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