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Thinking, Language, and Intelligence

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1 Thinking, Language, and Intelligence
Myers’ EXPLORING PSYCHOLOGY (5th Ed) Chapter 9 Thinking, Language, and Intelligence

2 Thinking (cognition) Thinking: Mental activities associated with:
processing understanding remembering communicating

3 Thinking Concepts: mental groupings of similar objects or ideas
examples: truck dog sad

4 Concepts – formed by definition
Example: shape with 3 sides

5 Concepts – formed by developing prototypes
Prototype  mental image or best example

6 Thinking: Solving Problems
Insight: suddenly realize the solution to a problem doesn’t require use of strategies example: “getting” a joke

7 Thinking: Solving Problems
We also use strategies Algorithms: methodical step-by-step can take longer Heuristics: simpler strategies quicker more error-prone

8 Problem Solving Obstacles
Confirmation Bias we tend to search for info that confirms our ideas overlook contradictory info example: communication with deceased Fixation inability to see a problem from a new perspective

9 The Representativeness Heuristic
judge likelihood of things by how well they match prototypes ignore other info

10 Representativeness Heuristic
A person is short, slim, and likes to read poetry. more likely to be a professor of classics at Ivy League university or truck driver?

11 Availability Heuristic
judging likelihood of events based on how readily they come to mind (memory) quickly comes to mind  we assume it is common sometimes true, but not always results in errors

12 Availability Heuristic
Does the letter k appear more often as the first or third letter in English usage? examples of 1st letter: knife, king, know think of examples quickly examples of 3rd letter: take, likelihood, ask harder to think of but actually more likely

13 Overconfidence tend to overestimate: examples can also be positive
accuracy of our knowledge our performance in tasks examples school assignments (take longer than we expect) can also be positive people who have more overconfidence: happier find it easier to make decisions seen as more credible

14 Framing same information, presented differently can lead us to feel differently hearing that 10% die from a surgery vs. hearing that 90% survive risk is rated as greater when we hear 10% die risks framed with numbers cause more fear than percentages 10 people out of 10 million will die versus will die survey questions can be framed to support or reject viewpoints

15 Belief Perseverance stick with our beliefs even if they have been discredited example: opposing views of capital punishment subjects were shown mixed evidence: more impressed by the study that supported their beliefs disputed the other study

16 Fear: Why do we fear the wrong things?
Flying versus driving Ancestral history (snakes, heights) Fear what we cannot control driving we control (flying we don’t) Fear what is immediate smokers may fear flying Fear what is most readily available in memory dramatic tsunami (killed 300,000) vs. malaria killing similar # of children every few months

17 Language Language 1st birthday to high school graduation
spoken, written, signed words combined to communicate meaning 1st birthday to high school graduation we learn 60,000 words (10 per day)

18 Language Babbling Stage beginning at 3 to 4 months
infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first: unrelated to the household language can’t identify language (e.g., English, Korean) at 10 months: household language can be identified

19 Language One-Word Stage
the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly in single words from about age 1 to age 2

20 Language Two-Word Stage Telegraphic Speech starts about age 2
two word statements Telegraphic Speech early speech stage (age 2) child speaks like a telegram “go car”; “want milk” mostly nouns and verbs

21 Language Summary of Language Development Month (approximate) Stage 4
10 12 24 24+ Babbles many speech sounds. Babbling reveals household language. One-word stage. Two-word, telegraphic speech. Language develops rapidly into complete sentences.

22 Language Influences Biological Environmental
brains are wired to use language Environmental need exposure early on differences in environment influence language ability

23 Language Second language learning gets harder with age 100 90 80 70 60
50 Native 3-7 8-10 11-15 17-39 Percentage correct on grammar test Age at arrival The older the age at immigration, the poorer the mastery of a second language

24 Language Linguistic determinism (1950s) Now: Benjamin Lee Whorf
hypothesis that language determines the way we think Now: “determines” is too strong… but language influences thinking

25 Language Influences Thinking
English – more words for self-focused emotions (e.g., anger) Japanese – more words for interpersonal emotions (e.g., sympathy)

26 Do Animals Think? Animals (especially great apes) display capacity for thinking Form concepts monkeys learn to classify cats and dogs; different neurons respond Display Insight fruit and long stick placed beyond reach chimpanzee given short stick in cage couldn’t reach fruit, gave up, suddenly used short stick to get long stick

27 Do animals exhibit language?
They can comprehend and communicate Monkeys: different alarm cries depending on predator Whales: clicks and wails Honeybees: dance to inform others of food source location Dogs: interact with us; can fetch items by name

28 Do animals exhibit language?
Depends on definition of language ability to communicate through meaningful symbols? yes (apes) expression of complex grammar? no Previously thought that animals could not: plan, form concepts, count, use tools show compassion use language Animal research has found that animals CAN do all of these

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