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Sean Kim

Chapter 9: Thinking and Language
Thinking
Concepts



cognition​
: all mental activities associated thinking, knowing, remembering, and
communicating
concept​
: mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people
prototype​
: mental image or best example of a category
move away from prototypes, and category boundaries may blur

Problem Solving: Strategies and Obstacles






algorithm​
: methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular
problem
heuristics​
: simple thinking strategy that often allows to make judgments and solve
problems efficiently, speedier but error prone
insight​
: sudden realization of a problem’s solution
confirmation bias​
: tendency to search for info that supports our preconceptions
fixation: inability to see problem from fresh perspective
mental set​
: tendency to approach a problem in one particular way, often a way that has
been successful in the past
perceptual set predisposes what we perceive

Forming Good and Bad Decisions and Judgements

intuition​
: effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or thought, contrasted with explicit,
conscious reasoning
The Availability Heuristic
● availability heuristic​
: estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in
memory, if instances come readily to mind, we assume they are common
● we fear the wrong things that are unlikely to happen
Overconfidence
● overconfidence​
: tendency to be more confident than correct, overestimate accuracy of
our beliefs
● can feed extreme political views
● can have adaptive value, overconfident people seem to be happier
Belief Perseverance
● belief perseverance​
: clinging to one’s initial conceptions after basis on which they
were formed is discredited
● to rein in belief perseverance, consider the opposite
The Effects of Framing
● framing​
; the way an issue is posed; how an issue is framed can significantly affect
decisions and judgments
● those who understand the power of framing can use it to nudge our decisions

syntax is set of rules for combining words into grammatically correct sentences Language Development ● humans have astonishing facility for learning language When Do We Learn Language? ● Receptive Language ○ children’s language development moves from simplicity to complexity ○ past 7 months. babies learn to segment spoken sounds into individual words . semantics is set of rules for deriving meaning from sounds. A venturesome personality. creative thinking that diverges in different directions five components of creativity: ​ Expertise. Imaginative thinking skills. Intrinsic motivation. A creative environment Do Other Species Share Our Cognitive Skills? Using Concepts and Numbers ● pigeons can sort objects into concepts ● great apes can do even better Displaying Insight ● apes and birds have shown to display insight Using Tools and Transmitting Culture ● many other species invent behaviors and transmit cultural patterns to their peers and offspring Other Cognitive Skills ● great apes demonstrate self-awareness ● elephants can discriminate between themselves Language and Thought ● language​ : our spoken. enabling quick reactions ● intuition is huge ● our mind harmonizes critical thinking with creative whispers of unseen mind Thinking Creatively ● ● ● ● ● creativity​ : ability to produce new and valuable ideas aptitude: ability to learn convergent thinking​ : narrowing the available problem solutions to determine the single best solution divergent thinking​ : expanding the number of possible problem solutions. or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning Language Structure ● ● ● phenomes​ : in a language.The Perils and Powers of Intuition ● intuition is analysis frozen into habit ● intuition is usually adaptive. written. may be a word or a part of a word (prefix) grammar​ : system of rules that enables us to communicate with and understand others. the smallest distinctive sound unit morpheme​ : smallest unit that carries meaning.

● Productive Language ○ babbling stage​ : beginning at 4 months. child speaks in 2 word segments ○ telegraphic speech​ : child speaks like a telegram. brain operates by dividing mental function into subfunctions Do Other Species Have Language? ● ● ● ● humans have longed proclaimed that language sets us apart animals display impressive comprehension and communication if definition of language is verbal or signed expression of complex grammar. involved in language comprehension and expression. the stage of speech development in which infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to household language ○ one-word stage​ : age 1-2. apes can do it too Thinking and Language Language Influences Thinking . not so with infants ○ 7month olds can learn simple sentence structure ● Critical Periods ○ childhood represents critical period for mastering certain aspects of language before language-learning window closes Deafness and Language Development ● deaf people who learn to sign late do not have a strong a grasp of language as people who learn earlier ● cochlear implants are an option for deaf children ● deafness can be considered vision enhancement ● Living in a Silent World ○ 360 live with disabling hearing loss ○ school is difficult for these people if they are students ○ older people use more brainpower in hearing words The Brain and Language ● ● ● ● aphasia​ : impairment of language. syllables run together. only humans can do it if language means simple communication. area of frontal lobe Wernicke’s area​ : controls language reception. usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca’s or Wernicke’s area Broca’s area​ : control language expression. child speaks mostly in single words ○ two-word stage​ : beginning at age 2. usually in left temporal lobe in processing language. mostly nouns and verbs Explaining Language Development ● universal grammar: basic elements of language that all share ● we are not born with a built-in specific language ● Statistical Learning ○ when adults listen to unfamiliar language.

but they influence our thinking ● expanding language is expanding ability to think ● bilingual advantage is ability to inhibit their attention to irrelevant info Thinking in Images ● we often think in images ● watching activity will activate brain’s internal simulation of a skill ● it’s better to spend fantasy time planning how to get somewhere than to dwell on imagined destination ● thinking affects our language. which then affects our thought .● linguistic determinism​ : Whorf’s hypothesis that language determines the way we think ● bilingual individuals have different sense of self ● words may not determine what we think.