2 Thinking and language are two talents that are part of being human.But...how unique are these talents to humans?in what ways are these talents better suited for survival than for thinking like a scientist?Click to reveal textbox.
3 Chapter OverviewHow do we form concepts, make judgments, solve problems, and make decisions?How does our intuitive thinking style, though it may help us survive, lead us astray?How does language work in words and in the brain, and how unique is human language?How do thought and language work together?Click to reveal all bullets.
4 Thinking, a.k.a. Cognition Cognition refers to mental activities and processes associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating information.Cognition can include reasoning, judgment, and assembling new information into knowledge.Cognition also supports these other psychological processes: attention, emotion, consciousness, perception, learning, memory, language, mental health, and social interaction.Click to reveal additional bullets.The first box states the definition used in the book.The last two bullet points are: 1) optional details/examples, and 2) connections to other topics in this course.
5 Thinking: Topics What are some problem solving strategies and natural obstacles to effective problem solving?Why are concepts considered the building blocks of thinking?Do other animals have thinking skills like humans do?Automatic animation.More detail on the second point: these obstacles include tendencies that derail scientific thinking, as well as reasons that we fear the wrong things.
6 Pieces of Cognition: Concepts A concept can be represented and communicated by an image, or by a word such as “chair,” “party,” or “democracy.”A conceptis a mental grouping of similar objects, events, states, ideas, and/or people, etc.Click to reveal second text box.In this case, “states” refers to a “state of being,” such as “happiness.”Instructor: you could ask students, “what concept is suggested by the picture on the slide?”...Beach? Vacation? Waves? Tropics? Chair? Emptiness? Happiness? See how many concepts students can come up with.
7 How do we form/learn concepts? We think we form concepts by definitions. For example, we define a triangle as an object with three sides.But is this how we actually form concepts?Often, we form concepts by developing prototypes, that is, mental images of the best example of a concept.What does your prototype of the triangle look like?Click to reveal bullets. Then ask students to draw their triangle prototype when prompted.Click to show examples.Draw the triangle that you imagine; that is, draw your prototype of a triangle.
8 Conceptualizing a Chair What is your definition of “chair”?What is your prototype of “chair”?Which of these fit the “chair” concept?Automatic animation.These examples are more varied than the ones in the text that clearly fit.I suggest challenging students when they say that one of the objects here does not fit, since they all are a place you can sit upright. Students may figure out that many of these examples, while they fit the definition of “chair,” are a better fit for some other concept such as bench, swing, lounge, etc. This brings out another function of concepts; they are categories for observations, mental boxes to put things in.
9 The Urge to CategorizeWhat was the percentage Asian in this blended Caucasian/Asian face?We tend to mold our memories and perceptions to fit pre-existing categories/ concepts.What was the percentage Caucasian in the second blended face?Scale of faces flies by on the bottom automatically and the first question appears immediately after. Click to reveal second question/face and again for a final note.Instructor: Let your students know that these categories are difficult to define and the terms and categories may even be offensive to some. Ask your students if they think these categories problematic (which may render the study invalid).The answer in the first case is 60 percent Asian. In the second, it is 70 percent Caucasian. The average answer among students might be higher in both cases unless they adjust because they know the point of the exercise...that we tend to push things into categories. This is even more true if the question is delayed, our memory shoves experiences even more toward pre-existing categories/concepts.It is important to remind students here that ‘concepts’ such as ‘Asian’ or ‘Caucasian’ are culturally determined—by definition, anyone born in Asia is Asian, but ethnic Saudis do not look like ethnic Tibetans, who do not look like Filipinos. “Caucasian, on the other hand,” is an outmoded racial category; does it refer to looks? ‘Blood’? Birthplace?
10 When Prototypes Fail Us Prototypes fail us when examples stretch our definitions, as in considering whether a stool is a chair.Prototypes fail us when the boundary between concepts is fuzzy, as in judging blue- green colors or computer-blended faces.Prototypes fail us when examples contradict our prototypes, such as considering whether a whale is a mammal, or a penguin is a bird.Click to reveal bullets.
11 Strategies for arriving at solutions include: Problem SolvingStrategies for arriving at solutions include:Problem solving refers to the thinking we do in order to answer a complex question or to figure out how to resolve an unfavorable situation.Trial and error involves trying various possible solutions, and if that fails, trying others.When it’s useful: perfecting an invention like the light bulb by trying a thousand filamentsWhen it fails: when there is a clear solution but trial and error might miss it forevertrial and erroralgorithmsAn algorithm is a step by step strategy for solving a problem, methodically leading to a specific solution.Click to reveal strategies and text.There is no definition of problem solving stated in the text, but the definition above is implied. You can clarify that problem solving does not just pertain to math problems; it also involves figuring out the punch line of a joke, solving mysteries, or resolving a conflict.[If you have time, you could insert your favorite joke, and/or a brain teaser, or mystery.]Trial and error: examples of the third point include guessing the square root of an unusual number, or guessing how to drive to a specific address in another state. An example coming up is the word jumble.Another (not essential) point you can make is that trial and error is tempting when you don’t know what else to do, or you’re in a hurry, although often it ends up taking longer.More about algorithms:--You could substitute “strategy” or “logical procedure” for “method.”--Algorithms are generally guaranteed to generate a solution, either because they are systematic or because they have been previously proven to work (this applies more to mathematics).You could mention that beyond the realm of problem-solving, there are other heuristics we’ll be encountering (which we use in making decisions or forming judgments), such as the availability heuristic.A heuristic is a short-cut, step-saving thinking strategy or principle which generates a solution quickly (but possibly in error).heuristicsinsightInsight refers to a sudden realization, a leap forward in thinking, that leads to a solution.
12 Clarifying Problem Solving Examples Where’s the apple juice? Do I look on every shelf in the store, or do I search where there is similar stuff?To find a specific item in a supermarketTrial and errorWander around a supermarket randomly to find it.Create a methodical path to make sure you check every single aisle.AlgorithmsClick to reveal bullets.The text’s examples of algorithms might seem to students like examples of trial and error, so these slides aim to clarify these examples. There are also other slides to supplement or replace the text’s examples.HeuristicsCheck only related aisles.
13 Trial and Error vs. Algorithms To solve a word jumble, you can use:Trial and error--randomly trying different combinations in no particular order An algorithm (below)--carefully checking every single combination beginning with the letter “C” before moving on to a different starting letter.1. C L O O Y S P H Y GNo animation.The text’s examples of algorithms might seem to students like examples of trial and error, so these slides aim to clarify those examples. There are also other slides to supplement or replace the text’s examples.2. C O L O Y S P H Y G3. C O O L Y S P H Y G…
14 To solve a word jumble, you can try a heuristic. The problem with using trial and error to solve a word jumble is that there are 782,200 (10!/(2!*2!)) different ways to combine those letters. At least with the algorithm method, you are sure to get through them all without counting any of them twice.However, it would help to use shortcuts/heuristics to reduce the options we need to try, such as:putting a “Y” at the end.thinking about where the other “Y” could go.trying the “H” preceded by “C” and “S” and “P” before trying other combinations.speculating that with so few vowels, the “O”s will probably not be together.Click to start animation of solution.The text’s examples of algorithms might seem to students like examples of trial and error, so these slides aim to clarify those examples. There are also other slides to supplement or replace the text’s examples.1. C L O O Y S P H Y GS P L O Y O C H G YP S L O Y O C H G YP S Y C H O L O G Y
15 Algorithms: Not Just Thoroughness A father and a son are currently 40 and 10; when will the son be half the father’s age? It might be tempting to use trial and error, but algebra gives us an algorithm, a single, certain, systematic path to the answer:x = ½ (x + 30)2x = x + 30x = 30Click to show second bullet and again to show the answer.If any students question how you arrived at the 782,200 figure: following the algorithm, 10 different letters will start the word, and for each of those, 9 other letters could go next, and for each of those, 8 others are left to go next…. In the end: 10x9x8x7x6x5x4x3x2x1 or 10 “factorial”, written 10!But then we divide by 2 (actually 2!) because of the two ‘O’s, and divide again by 2 for the two ‘Y’s.Answer: when the son is 30, the father will be is 60.
16 Three Methods of Problem Solving Problem: given 100 one-foot lengths of fence, construct a rectangle that encloses the biggest area.Trial and error approach: make a lot of rectangles½ (100-2W)WAlgorithm approach: rectangle of unknown widthDifferent values for WidthFor each width: Total AreaArea = Width times length = W times half of what’s left after making the widths, or ½ (100-2W). We could graph all the different W’s and all the areas produced by different values for W, but instead of trial and area we graphed a function, Area = W x ½(100-2W), or Area = 50x – x2,, which makes a parabola, shown at the left. Notice that at W = 25, the area is at a maximum, and length = ½(100-2(25)) = 25 also.Maximum area is when width is 25, which means all sides are 25Click to reveal three examples.Don’t bother going through the math on this one; the fact that the math algorithm is laboriously complex is exactly the point. After we have shown when algorithms are better than trial and error, now this slide shows that heuristics can be better, or at least faster, than algorithms.We can take this example one step further through the text and credit the power of insight: if thin rectangles waste fence, and the skinniest rectangle has almost no area at all, then a square is best. In fact, corners waste fence; a circle would be even better.I devised this math problem and the solution on my own, but got help drawing the curve;it was graph generated at webgraphing.com from my formula: y axis = x times 0.5(100-2x), or y = 50x – x2.Heuristic: a square encloses the most area
17 Insight: The “Aha” Moment Insight and the BrainIn one study, participants monitored by fMRI and EEG were asked, “which word will form a compound word with the words pine, crab, and sauce?”What the brains did along with the “aha!” of getting the answer:Insight refers to a sudden realization, a leap forward in thinking, that leads to a solution.We say “aha” and feel a sense of satisfaction when an answer seems to pop into our minds.We also may laugh; joke punchlines rely on sudden insight.extra frontal lobe activityexperiencing the “aha!” moment and stating the answera burst of activity in right temporal lobe (shown here)Click to reveal bullets. Final click will flash an apple, which is the answer to the question in the study.Previous editions of the book have noted that animals, especially primates, show sudden leaps in solution-making when confronted with complex problems. For example, they can realize that fruit can be reached by using a short stick to reach a longer stick that in turn can reach the fruit, or realize that boxes can be stacked and climbed. We don’t know if the animals feel the same sense of satisfaction as humans when they solve a problem.
18 A Use of Insight to Find the Right Heuristic Problem: can the 62 squares of this clipped chess-board be tiled with 2-square dominoes?How did you arrive at your solution?No animation.Clarification: “tiled” means covered with a flat layer of dominoes, only going to the current edge, not filling the area of the two missing squares.Insight: because each domino will cover one black and one pink square, it is not possible for it to work. Even though 62 is divisible by 2, there are now two more black squares than pink squares. This problem is attributed to Martin Gardner.
19 Obstacles to Effective Problem Solving There are certain tendencies in human cognition which make it more difficult to find correct solutions to problems.Confirmation biasFixation/ mental setAutomatic animation.Heuristics(which help solve problems quickly but can lead to mistaken conclusions)
20 Studying Confirmation Bias: Peter Wason’s Selection TestHe gave the sequence of numbers “2, 4, 6.”He asked students to guess his rule, and ask him whether other certain numbers fit the rule.The problem was not the students’ theory, but their strategy. If you think the rule is “even numbers,” what numbers would you need to ask him about to TEST rather that CONFIRM your theory?Confirmation bias refers to our tendency to search for information which confirms our current theory, disregarding contradictory evidence.Natural tendency: “If I’m right, then fact “C” will confirm my theory. I must look for fact “C.”Scientific practice: “If I’m right, then fact “D” will disprove or at least disconfirm my theory. I must search for fact “D.”Click to reveal bullets on left. The upcoming section on decision-making/judgment will help clarify that last bullet point.Click to reveal sidebar about Peter Wason’s test. To test the “even numbers” theory, students should try out NON-even numbers (odd numbers, fractions, negative numbers) to find examples which would disprove their theory. Finding that these numbers did not fit the rule would make them more scientifically sure that their theory was correct. However, it is our tendency to add to our confidence by trying out information which would confirm our theory (in this case, more even numbers).Next: tests not in the book. This is one of the hardest yet more important concepts in the course, in my opinion, so we’ll try it in up to three more ways.
21 Confirmation Bias Test Hypothesized rule/fact: everyone who drinks alcohol at this party is at least 21 years of age. You meet four people about whom you know limited information:Holding a beerHolding a colaAge is 25Age is 18Click to reveal example.Hint: to test this theory, you want to find violators. This was the easy test; people do better when thetest is concrete and also here when it mentions a law that sets us up to look for violators.The next slide presents a more difficult test. If your class seems confident, give them just the hard test.If you could find out more about just two of these people, which two would you investigate to help find out whether your hypothesis is true?
22 Confirmation Bias Test You are given the cards below, that have a letter on one side and a numeral on the other side. Claim: if a card has a vowel on one side, then it has an odd number on the other side.AD67No animation.This test is harder for most people than the real-life situation.Flipping over the A could confirm or disprove the claim.Flipping over the D tells us nothing; we have no claim about cards with consonants on one side.Flipping over the 6 is crucial, but often missed because even numbers are not mentioned in the claim; if there is a vowel on the other side, then the claim is not true, because flipping it back over, there is NOT an odd number on the other side of the vowel.Flipping over the 7 is a chance to confirm the claim, but it cannot be used to really test the claim; if there is a consonant on the other side, then the card is irrelevant, because we have no claim about cards with consonants, only a claim about cards with vowels.So…. the answer is the first and third cards.Which two cards would you turn over to find out if the claim is true?
23 Confirmation Bias Test: Research The ultimate test of our mastery of confirmation bias in psychology might be our ability to avoid confirmation bias in research.Kids who:eat a lot of sugar.do not eat candy.have ADHD.do not have ADHD.If we believe that overeating candy is the main cause of ADHD symptoms, what types of people do we need to look for to really test our theory?Click to text boxes.“Good” science is about challenging our theories to see if they hold up under a search for disconfirming evidence. To do this, we need to find cases of kids who do NOT eat candy. If any of them have ADHD anyway, this would disprove our hypothesis.This slide fits the text here, but you could hit this important concept twice by using this slide (and others) to introduce this concept earlier when talking about research methods, or when talking about hindsight bias and the overconfidence error.Note that almost all claims regarding evolutionary psychology (such as, “it may have had survival value”) do not meet this high standard.
24 Other Problem-Solving Habits Mental setThe tendency to approach problems using a mindset (procedures and methods) that has worked previously.FixationThe tendency to get stuck in one way of thinking; an inability to see a problem from a new perspective.Automatic animation.The text refers initially to fixation and mental set as “obstacles” to problem solving, but later implies that these two related concepts have their good and bad sides. Mental set and fixation, like heuristics, are useful in solving problems more quickly. The downside is that these tendencies keep us from being able to come up with new approaches to solving new kinds of problems.A good quotation from the text: “As a perceptual set predisposes what we perceive, a mental set predisposes how we think.”
25 Mental Set: Demonstration What is next in these sequences?O, T, T, F, F, ___, ___, J, F, M, A, M, ___, ___, S, M, T, N, U, ___, ___, W, I, N, I, T, ___?O,T,T,F,F, S, S (numbers)J,F,M,A,M, J, J (months)S,M,T,N,U,O,V,P,W,Q,X,RW, I, N, I, T, S ?Click to reveal each sequence and then the answer.Instructor: The first two lines are a test of whether they have done the reading, though I have added one extra in each line.The last two would be easier if the others had not been done first. The third one might be tempting to see as days of the week at first.The last one might be seen as another sequence, when it’s just the first initials of the first bullet point.Another point to make in the middle of the last paragraph: priming that establishes a mental set can occur by going through several problems that can be solved with similar methods. This can be demonstrated with math, but enough math for today, let’s use the examples from the book.Answers:O, T, T, F, F, S, S (numbers)J, F, M, A, M, J, J (months)S, M, T, N, U, O, V, P, W, Q, X, R, Y, S, Z (alternating alphabet)W, I, N, I, T, S ? (initial letters of the words in the question at top)If you are “primed” to use a certain problem-solving strategy, you can form a mental set that makes it harder to solve a new, similar problem.
26 FixationProblem: how can you arrange six matches to form four equilateral triangles? When people struggle with this, what fixation is going on? Hint: what assumption might be fixed in their minds?Our mental set, perhaps from our past experiences with matchsticks, assumes we are arranging them in two dimensions.Click to reveal answer.This type of fixation has been called functional fixedness. The assumption which makes this problem difficult is that the problem must be solved in two dimensions.
27 The Nine-dot ProblemUse four straight lines to connect the nine dots. If you already know the solution, let others figure it out.No animation.Hint: there is a fixation here related to seeing the nine dots as forming a square.
28 The Nine-dot Problem: Solution Solving this requires escaping fixation by thinking outside the box. Literally.On click, a solution will appear on screen.There is still fixation here: seeing the dots as points rather than as discs.
29 The Nine-dot ProblemCan you use only THREE straight lines to connect these nine dots?On click, a solution will appear on screen.
30 Making Quick Judgments and Decisions IntuitionMaking Quick Judgments and DecisionsAs with problem-solving, there are mental habits which make intuition-style judgments simpler and quicker, but may lead to errors:the availability heuristicoverconfidencebelief perseveranceframingThe human cognitive style of making judgments and decisions is more efficient than logical.The quick-acting, automatic source of ideas we use instead of careful reasoning is known as intuition.Using intuition to make a decision has some downsides, as we’ll soon see, but it also has some benefits.Click to reveal bullets on left.Click to reveal sidebar about making quick judgments.All of these habits enable us to quickly make hundreds of small “gut” decisions each day without bothering with systematic reasoning.
31 The Availability Heuristic We use the availability heuristic when we estimate the likelihood of an event based on how much it stands out in our mind, that is, how much it’s available as a mental reference.Example: thinking that winning at a slot machine is likely because we vividly recall the times we’ve won before (thanks to bells, lights, and flowing coins)Click through to reveal text boxes.A good quote from the text: “Dramatic outcomes make us gasp; probabilities, we hardly grasp.”
32 Weighted Attention: Why We Fear the Wrong Things The availability heuristic misleads us about whether a plane ride or a motorcycle ride is more dangerous.Of the many experiences available to us in forming our judgments, we tend to give more weight to some experiences than others.We know of both plane crashes and motorcycle crashes, but the plane crashes scare us more, and stand out more in the news and in memory.Why do some dangers stand out more?Perhaps biology or natural selection predisposes us to fear heights, lack of control, and confinement… all of which are part of our image of a plane ride.Click to reveal bullets. Regarding the last bullet point: we may not be predisposed to fear a deadly activity with no confinement or heights such as riding a motorcycle.
33 The Overconfidence Error Overconfidence in judgments refers to our tendency to be more confident than correct.We overestimate the accuracy of our estimates, predictions, and knowledge.Examples:thinking you can put off work and still get it done wellthinking you have test material mastered when you scan it and it feels familiar.Click to reveal examples.Instructor: please clarify from the beginning that we are talking about a thinking error--a prediction/judgment mistake--and not an emotion or personality trait of “confidence”, although the two may tend to occur together in the same person. Ask students to give examples to test their overconfidence in having mastered this concept.In some studies, confidence in our guesses seems to be inversely correlated with accuracy.Suggest an application: simply scanning through the textbook before a test, you may make a judgment that you know the material well. Test for the overconfidence error by having someone ask you to define and give an example of the concepts.
34 The Overconfidence Error Preventing the Overconfidence ErrorQuestion: Why do we tend to be overconfident even though it leads to false convictions, bad investments, and disappointing test scores?Answer: It may have had survival value:overconfidence allows quick decisionsfeeling certainty reduces stress and anxietyoverconfident people may gain social powerWhen you plan to state an opinion, prediction, or judgment, say “I think” rather than “I know.”Be open to feedback and to correction.ASK for other opinions, predictions, and factors you have not considered.Keep track of when you were wrong.Click to reveal all bullets in each column.Overconfident people may gain social power--other people are more likely to follow someone who sounds sure of themselves than someone who sounds unsure but turns out to be accurate.Keep track of when you were wrong--you might become more realistic in your judgments, and people might want to be around someone who respects their opinions.
35 Belief Perseverance Error Overcoming Belief Perseverance“My mind is made up; do not confuse me with the facts.”Belief perseverance is the tendency to hold onto our beliefs when facing contrary evidence.We interpret information in a way that fits our beliefs. We might claim that the new information is wrong, biased, or just “doesn’t make sense.”Stereotypes are maintained by this error; people often disregard examples contradicting stereotypes by treating the new information as merely an exception, and not a challenge to the rule.You can’t cure someone else of belief perseverance. Just telling someone the “right” information won’t override it; people facing opposing information tend to become MORE polarized in their beliefs.Instead, watch for this in yourself. Take opposing views and information seriously, always assuming that you could be wrong.Click to reveal all bullets in each column.The definition of belief perseverance is from the text. A restatement of the definition you can use: “we tend to defend our current ideas, our sense of what is true, when given information that doesn’t fit our ideas.”Why do I say “we”?...because these are common human tendencies.Why do I add the word “error” to these titles?...because the traits here lead to errors in judgment, such as choosing confidence or mental comfort over a search for the truth.
36 Confirmation Bias vs. Belief Perseverance Definition: not bothering to seek out information that contradicts your ideasDefinition: holding on to your ideas over time, and actively rejecting information that contradicts your ideasBenefits and downsides: enables quick solutions, but misses finding out when first guesses are wrongBenefits and downsides: less internal mental conflict, but more social conflictNo animation.Instructor: belief perseverance might sound like confirmation bias to some students. They both sound like “not being open minded.” This is an optional slide to help make the distinction, since students may get them mixed up if both are options in a multiple choice test question.
37 fail 5 percent of the time? work 95 percent of the time? FramingFraming is the focus, emphasis, or perspective that affects our judgments and decisions.Example: are condoms effective if they…fail 5 percent of the time?work 95 percent of the time?Click to play out first and second animations.Thinking about the five percent failure rate is more likely to get us thinking about what happens if the condom fails; the moving frame represents the shift in where our attention is focused depending on how the issue (here, the condom reliability) is described/framed.Do you want to go to a store today if prices are:an average of $6 off?everyday low prices?20 percent off?
38 How it may have been adaptive IntuitionHow to use it wellWhen it’s effectiveHow it may have been adaptiveWe have seen that in complex situations, it helps to use careful reasoning to avoid mistakes made by intuitive judgments.However, research supports the idea that sometimes we need to let our unconscious mind do some work.Incubation refers to the power of taking a break from careful thinking, even to “sleep on it,” to allow leaps in cognition.Intuition is effective when it is a product of expertise built up from trial and error; this hones one’s judgment to the point of being more accurate than logical analysis.Examples: knowing the sex of a chick, making a diagnosis, speed chess, quarterback decisionsThe mind’s ability to judge a situation from experience is more efficient than any step-by-step analysis.Judging quickly what to eat and what might kill us might have helped our ancestors survive long enough to reproduce.The times that our intuition was incorrect may not have been fatal; if humans avoided all red plants instead of poisonous berries, they might have been hungry, but still alive.Click through examples and answers.How to use it well: You can connect past slides to this one by noting, “We have examined some of the pitfalls to watch out for in using intuitive, quick style of making decisions and forming judgments. In general, careful reasoning is better for complex decisions and judgments.”“Is intuition all bad? Let’s talk about the good aspects of intuition, starting with some research about an unconscious process that makes our decision better: incubation.”Editor’s note: note how the explanations under “How it may have been adaptive” are purely speculative guesswork and meet none of the standards of “good science” given a few slides earlier.
39 Do Other Species Think?If thinking consists of understanding concepts, including words, numbers, and qualities, then...many creatures can memorize the names of many objects. Parrots can speak the names.birds can sort objects by shape, color, and type.Alex the African parrot could add numbers, and answer complex questions such as “what color bigger”? [“Tell me the color of the object that is the bigger of these two.”]Click to reveal bullets.Seeing Alex the parrot answer questions like “what color bigger” and “what shape 4” (what color is the item that is bigger, and what shape is the item of which there are four) certainly gets the observer thinking about thinking.In the videos hosted by Alan Alda, there is an image of seals or sea lions being able to deduce that a symbol they’ve never seen before fits in the category of ‘number’ based on logical deductions from rules and information they’ve established. It’s amazing seeing the seal get rewarded for choosing “#” in one session and then NOT choose it the next moment, choosing something different because the category is different. Ideas that this is simply operant conditioning get really stretched here, though the strictest behaviorists will never be convinced that thinking meaningfully exists in any species.
40 Do Other Species Think?If thinking consists of solving problems with insight, devising behaviors that were not trained or rewarded, and putting strategies together in new combinations, then...chimpanzees do not say, “Aha,” but one showed sudden leaps in problem-solving. After putting down a short stick that could not reach a fruit, he jumped up suddenly to use that short stick to reach a longer stick.Click to reveal bullets.
41 Do Other Species Think?If thinking consists of using and passing on cultural (learned, not instinctual) practices such as tool use, then...chimpanzees have local customs for tool use, grooming, communication, hunting, and courtship. These are “customs”, not instincts, because:they vary not by family, but by group.they are learned/acquired by observation.they involve varied tools and strategies, such as crafting a flexible stick to “fish” for termites.Click to reveal bullets.
42 Animal Socio-cognitive Skills Baboons can recognize 80 individual voices; sheep can recognize individual faces.Chimpanzees and some monkeys can read intention in your facial expression and actions.Dolphins, apes, elephants, and social birds appear to recognize themselves in a mirror.Click to reveal bullets.How do they know that dolphins, apes, elephants, and social birds can recognize themselves in a mirror, while dogs and cat cannot (which is why they’ll fight with a reflection)? This can be determined because these animals and birds were shown to use the mirror to help see as they rubbed off a substance such as some chalk they could not see without the mirror.The “social birds” (corvids, such as magpies and crows) have other amazing social skills such as apparent deception. They hide something when another bird is watching and then move it when the other bird is gone.Nature, Wildlife and the Environment 2 WL002385Sheep Elephant:
43 Do Animals Use LANGUAGE? Language consists of the use of symbols to represent, transmit, and store meaning/information.Symbols include organized patterns of sounds, visual representations, and movements.Meaning includes concepts, quantities, plans, identity, feelings, ideas, facts, and customs.Click to reveal bullets.Ѭ
44 What is language made of? Uses of LanguageWhat is language made of?Phonemes are the smallest units of sound (vowels and consonants).Morphemes are the units of meaning, i.e. words and meaningful parts of words such as suffixes, prefixes).Grammar refers to the rules for using words, including semantics, definitions, connotations, and syntax (how the order of words makes meaning).We can hear about and understand phenomena we have never experienced.We can connect to people far away.We can make plans and have others carry them out.We can know what another person is thinking more directly than just by observing their behavior.We can store information.Click to reveal bullets on left.Click to reveal sidebar and bullets.What is language made of? In a spoken language, we have phonemes, the smallest units of sound (vowels and consonants), which combine in various ways to form meaningful patterns.For alphabet-based written languages, in place of phonemes but roughly corresponding to them, we have graphemes such as letters.English uses only about 40 of a possible 869 different phonemes used in speech across the 500+ languages of the world.
45 How do we learn language? Language Development abbreviate absorbent accept access accessible accessory acoustics accumulate adjust aerial affects alien allotment allotted already altercation amass amendment amorous ancestor anecdote angular anonymous antidote antique antiseptic architect arrangement asphalt assignment asterisk attorneys audible aviator bachelor bankruptcy barbaric bask battery behavior benefited berserk besieged bicycle blanch brilliance budget bulletin business cachet callus cancellation canvas canvass capricious carburetor cashier catastrophe centripetal characteristic chasteirksome irresistible irrevocable issuing itemized jewelry judicious juror justifiable landslide legitimate leisure liaison library license lieutenant loophole lunar luncheon magnify malefactor malicious markup mattress mesmerize meteor metric mischievous misgiving modern modicum mystery negligence neon neutral newsstand nineteenth nonentity noticeable notoriety nuisance numerator nylon obesity oblique obstinate obsolete officious opposite optimism oregano overrate pageant parliament passable paucity penalty perseverance personality picnicking plaintiffcinnamon classic collateral colleague college comedy commerce commercial committee communicate commuter compel compensation competent consider contiguous corporal council counsel country creator critique customary customer daybreak deceive defendant deficient deficit depreciation desirable desolate detain devour diagnosis diffidence diminish disappeared disapproval disbursement discernible discrepancy disinterested disoblige dissociate distress diurnal divine domestic domesticate dominance easier ecstasy effect eject eligible eliminateerroneous especially exceptional excessive existence exotic expression extremity extricate facsimile familiar fantastic faulty federal feud flexible flout fluorescent folklore forcible fortunately franchise frivolous frostbitten further galaxy galling genuine gesture geology gigantic gnawing gorgeous grotesque gymnasium handicapped handling handsome haphazard harness hazardous headquarters homogenize horrific humidor idiosyncrasy impatience impinge incandescent inconsolable indelible inept influence innocence innumerable insistent insoluble integrity intensify poignant potential preceding precipice preoccupy prospectus quest questionnaire quixotic radioactive rapacious rayon raze recently reconcile relevant relief repulse revive rhyme rhythm roommate roster sanctuary sandwich scarcely schedule schism scholar schooner sedition semester seminary session shrine sieve signal sincerely soccer solitary subvert statutory terrific thieves tragedy transient transmutation turpitude tyranny unacceptable unique unmoved usher utopia vengeance vocal voucher withhold wrestle writtenative invariableHow do we learn language? Language DevelopmentLanguage Development is an Amazing ProcessWe acquire the use of 10 new words per day (on average) between ages 2 and 18.Children learn the basic grammar of language before they can addMost kids can recall words and meanings, and assemble words into sentences, while simultaneously following social rules for speaking and listening.Pause after the first bullet to let the word list go by. This is intended to depict the rapid rate of word acquisition of children.
46 Talent/Behavior/Stage How do we learn language? Language Talents and StagesAge (months)Talent/Behavior/Stage0-4 monthsIn fantis(“not speaking”)Receptive language: associating sounds with facial movements, and recognizing when sounds are broken into words4 monthsProductive language: babbling in multilingual sounds and gestures10 monthsBabbling sounds more like the parents’/household’s language12 monthsOne-word stage: understanding and beginning to say many nouns18-24 monthsTwo-word, “telegraphic”/tweet speech: adding verbs, and making sentences but missing words (“See bird! Ree book? Go park!”)24+ months,2+ yearsSpeaking full sentences and understanding complex sentencesNo animation.I have not made the definitions for “receptive” and “productive” explicit, but in case it’s not intuitive: “Receptive” means understanding the language you hear and see (and later, read), while“productive” means creating meaningful communication (speaking/signing, and later, writing).About the babbling transition by 10 months: for a discussion question, you can ask students if the loss of production of non-household language sounds by the infants reminds them of anything. We’re probing here for the idea of pruning, the withering of neural connections that aren’t being used. Not producing non-native sounds is useful because it allows the development of speech that accurately fits the language being used at home.We may have to replace the term “telegraphic” one of these decades; analogies are supposed to have explanatory power and are not supposed to require explanation. How about “Tweet”? Although unlike telegraphs, tweets are not billed by the word, there is a premium on not wasting characters, so words are more likely to be missing. See if students can guess the meaning of “Go park,” in toddler speak: it’s not about going to park the car, but instead a request/demand to go to the park. “Ree book” is a request to read a book. If these seem obvious to your students, how about: “Green now!”…. an exclamation that the stoplight has changed.
47 Explaining Language Acquisition: Nature and Nurture ABAGACTThe Role of GenesWe seem to have an inborn (genetic) talent for acquiring language, though no particular kind of language is in the genes.The Role of ExperienceWe also seem to have a “statistical” pattern recognition talent. Infants quickly recognize patterns in syllable frequency and sequence, preparing them to later learn words and syntax.NAVPERMIDClick to reveal bullets.You can add to the first bullet point: Noam Chomsky (b. 1928) believed that even syntax and grammar seem to be inborn. This is still a matter of debate. However, there are some universal word order preferences, and nouns do tend to be learned before verbs and adjectives.Trivia: which of the “syllables” on the left relates to genes?...GACT, Guanine Adenine Cytosine Thymine, the four bases forming the main components of DNA.CANTION
48 Critical PeriodsAccording to one study with immigrants, beginning a language later made it harder to learn the pronunciation and the grammar of the second language.It is important to begin appropriate language exposure/education early so that language centers of the brain continue to develop.Language might never develop if not begun by age seven.Click to reveal bullets.
49 Deaf and Blind Children Deaf and blind children can use complex adapted languages by using other senses that are heightened.Sign language has the syntax, grammar, and complex meaning of any spoken language.“Blindness cuts people off from things; deafness cuts people off from people.”—Helen KellerClick to reveal bullets.You may want to see if students agree with this quotation or can picture what is meant by each part of the quote. Or, you can talk about why Helen Keller ( ) might have a unique perspective on these issues since she lacked the use of both senses.Regarding the second and third bullet points, you can give it some impact by saying, “Imagine being brought up without exposure to language, with no one ever speaking to you. This would prevent language from developing, perhaps ever, and you would feel cut off. This would be considered child maltreatment. Yet this is what happens if a deaf child is brought up with family and classmates who do not use sign language.What happens if a deaf infant’s parents don’t use sign language?Hint: critical period
50 Brain Damage and Language Aphasia: an impairment in the ability to produce or understand language, usually caused by damage to the brainExamples of aphasia: having the ability to speak but not read, to produce words in song but not in conversation, and to speak but not repeat; or producing words in jumbled orderWernicke’s area, left temporal lobeBroca’s area, in the left temporal lobeClick to reveal pictures and descriptions.Before clicking to reveal the brain pictures, see if students can guess/recall which hemisphere of the brain is more likely to be damaged if there are problems with language.Answer: the left hemisphere, the one that can express itself verbally in split-brain patients.French physician Pierre Paul Broca ( ) and German neurologist Carl Wernicke ( ) learned about the function of their respective eponymous parts of the brain by studying the language difficulties of patients who had those parts damaged.Why can someone with Broca’s aphasia sing a song?...perhaps because it is reproduced as one string of sounds, not assembled from many bits of meaning.Comprehension test: why would people with both types of aphasia have difficulty repeating someone else’s spoken words?Someone with Broca’s aphasia is able to understand what the other person said but not put the words together to say it back;Someone with Wernicke’s aphasia is able to speak but not able to understand what was said, which prevents being able to say it back.Damage to Wernicke’s area leads to difficulty comprehending speech and producing coherent speech (not easily monitoring one’s own speech to make sure it makes sense).Damage to Broca’s area leads to difficulty in putting words together in sentences or even speaking single words, although a person can sing a song.
51 Language and the Brain How to read a word, steps 1 to 5 No animation.Instructor: this image is from an older edition of the book, not in the current edition, and thus there won’t be questions about it in the test banks. It is included here as an illustration of all the complex process that go on below our conscious awareness in order to do something as “simple” as reading a word.Remember: language functions are divided in the brain.
52 Do Other Species Use Language? Can other species communicate with us through language?Washoe the chimpanzee learned to use 245 signs to express what she wanted or noticed.Fellow chimpanzees learned signs from each other without training and without rewards.A deaf N.Y. Times reporter visited Washoe and said, “I realized I was conversing with a member of another species in my native tongue.”Receptive language for individual human words seems to exist for a few species; dogs can follow hundreds of commands.Productive language: many animals have “words”: sounds, gestures, dances (bees) to communicate information, including different “words” for different objects, states, and placesClick to reveal bullets and sidebar bullets.Fleshing out first bullet point: some would say that dogs are trained by rewards to respond to a pattern of sounds (same with humans, maybe?), but this doesn’t explain why a dog can retrieve a named object it’s never heard before, by process of elimination from the ones it does know, without a reward.Second bullet point: is this language? It certainly involves sounds representing objects and other concepts, but it does not involve grammar, i.e. meaning derived from word order.
53 Is the chimp signing really language? Washoe seemed to combine words in new ways to convey meaning; Washoe used the phrase “apple which is orange” for an orange (fruit).Chimps do not pick up words as easily as human children.Chimp word production lacks syntax, but a bonobo correctly understood “make the dog bite the snake.”Signing “baby”Click to reveal bullets.
54 Thinking and Language, Language and Thinking How does our style of thinking shape our use of language?How does language shape the way we think?Can we think without language by using images?Automatic animation.
55 Language Influencing Thought Linguistic determinism: the idea that our specific language determines how we thinkClick to reveal bullets.Extreme forms of linguistic determinism are in disfavor, but a more moderate version remains controversial. The reality about the Hopi may have been that they are not able to demonstrate how they think about the past, or perhaps, although their memory is intact, they do not think about the past in the same way.About the last question: I suggest looking up and finding some of your favorites from a list of “sniglets”: words for objects, actions, and states that our language does not seem to have a name for (but should).For example, Benjamin Whorf ( ) proposed that because the Hopi do not have past tense forms for verbs, it is hard for them to think about the past.Can you think about something that you do not have a name for? If so, does that disprove linguistic determinism?
56 Language’s Influence on Thought Does language shape emotions or reflect them?Speaking in Japanese provides many extra words for interpersonal emotions such as sympathy and empathy, which Americans might have trouble differentiating.Speaking English gives us many words for self-focused emotions, such as sadness.Do language differences shape personality differences?Bilingual people appear to have different personality profiles when describing themselves in different languages.“Learn a new language and get a new soul.”--Czech proverb.Color PerceptionWe use our native language to classify and to remember colors. Different languages may vary in where they put the separation between “blue” and “green,” or they may not have separate words for these colors.Which squares are green? teal? blue?Click to reveal text boxes.Is language the cause or the effect of this difference in self vs. other emphasis?We know that these cultures differ, with American/English culture being more self-focused. This may explain the language differences. But then, does the language shape our thinking if we learn the language?However, does this demonstrate a difference in personality or a difference in how it is expressed?Over time, in speaking a different language, would we begin to behave differently to fit the new way we are describing ourselves?The Tarahumara people of Mexico do not have different words for blue and green.The book talks about separations at A or B. I wonder if students will see the blue/green separation after the very leftmost square. Maybe students could be asked about where they consider the split to be between blue and turquoise, or blue and teal.
57 Language Influences Thought Gender neutral vs. male-based usageEven if “he” and “mankind” are meant at times to be gender- inclusive, people do create a male image in their mind when they hear these terms.Instead of replacing “he” with “he/she” or “their”, we can rewrite sentences without pronouns and possessives; for example, “his” can become “the.”Click to reveal all text.“When a lawyer shops for a watch, he should choose it to fit his personal preferences and his workplace” could become “A lawyer should choose a watch to fit personal preferences and the workplace.”People’s main protests to gender neutral language is that it is cumbersome (which it doesn’t need to be; in fact, sentences can be streamlined without all the pronouns) and that it’s unnecessary (that “everyone knows that “man” means “humans”). This is where the example from the book comes in: “man, like other mammals, nurses his young.” Wasn’t there a glitch in imagery upon hearing/reading that sentence?
58 Languages Improve Thinking The Bilingual Advantage People who are bilingual have numerous brain connections and neural networks.They also have a hidden talent, the ability to suppress one language while learning another.This ability tends to go along with other forms of executive control, such as resisting distraction and inhibiting impulses.Click to reveal bullets.Does this partly explain the lower ADHD rates in Europe compared to the United States--that bilingualism improves executive functioning, self-control, impulse inhibition, and resisting giving attention to irrelevant information?Or is it just that the genetically impulsive populations of Europe are the ones who chose to get on a boat and go to the United States?
59 Thinking in Images Without Words Using Imagery to Improve Learning Image rehearsal can help us improve behavior, even skilled performance such as playing piano or playing sports.If you imagine getting an A (outcome simulation), it may shift your mood up or down but will not improve your grade. Imagining the detailed actions of studying (process simulation), though, does improve grades.Think about the road, not the destination.Is there conscious thinking that goes on without being formed as words?Some everyday decisions, such as which turn to take while driving, are certainly made based on images or other nonverbal content such as mental maps.Click to reveal all bullets.
60 ConclusionsThinking affects our language, which then affects our thought.Thinking in a culture affects the formation of a language, especially its vocabulary.Thinking and language develop together in an individual as they grow.Learning a language and using a language as an adult can affect one’s style and content of thinking.Click to reveal bullets.Points 1-3 are Jim Foley’s conclusions based on the text, for you to present if you agree; students should know they won’t be tested on this material.