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When studying cognition what do we study?

Studying cognition involves studying how people think, i.e. the nature of thought or the processes involved in thinking.
How well people think, i.e. variations among people in thinking ability.


What is mental imagery?

Mental images are mental representations that stand for objects or events and have a picture‐like quality. Mental images are interacted with in similar ways as physical objects. Mental images are very helpful for memory, and or learning or maintaining motor skills.


What are concepts?

Concept are ideas that represent a class or group of objects, events, or activities that share common characteristics or attributes. Contain the important features of the objects or events people think about. Allow for the identification of new objects and events that may fit the concept (e.g., seeing a new type of dog for the first time).


What are the two types of concepts?

Formal concepts are concepts formed by learning the specific rules or features that define it. Many formal concepts are acquired in school. Each member of the concept meets all the rules (or has all the defining properties), and no nonmember does. Example: A square

Natural concepts are concepts formed as a result of people’s experience in the real world. Most concepts we form. Defined by a general set of features, not all of which must be present for an object to be considered a member of the concept. Example: birds, fruits


What is a prototype?

Prototype is an example that closely matches the defining characteristics (or common features) of a concept
Prototypes develop according to...
1. The exposure a person has to objects in a category.
2. The knowledge a person has about objects in a category.
3. The culture of a person.


What is the difference between problem solving and decision making?

Decision making is the process of evaluating alternatives and choosing among them.
Problem solving is the thoughts and actions required to achieve a certain goal.


What are he different approaches to problem solving.

1. Trial and Error (Mechanical Solutions) is trying one possible solution after another until finding one that works.
2. Algorithms is a systematic step‐by‐step procedure, such as a mathematical formula, that guarantees a solution to a problem of a certain type.
3. Insight is when a solution seems to suddenly come to mind.
4. Heuristics (“rule of thumb”) is an educated guess based on prior experiences that helps narrow down the possible solutions for a problem.


What is representativeness, an heuristics?

Representativeness is an assumption that any object (or person) sharing characteristics with members of a particular category is also a member of that category.


What is availability, a heuristics?

Availability is basing the estimated probability of an event on the ease with which relevant instances come to mind.


Describe working backwards and subgoal as examples of heuristics?

Working Backwards and Subgoals can be used together, but don’t have to be.
Working backward from the goal is a useful heuristic, it involves
working backwards to solve a problem. Subgoals are formulating intermediate steps towards a solution – e.g., breaking down steps of a term paper or planning out the classes needed to graduate.


What are some barriers to effective problem solving?

1. Irrelevant information – focusing on irrelevant information.
2. Functional Fixedness – thinking about objects only in terms of their typical (or most common) uses, i.e. mental sets the tendency for people to persist in using problem solving strategies that have worked in the past.
3. Confirmation Bias is the tendency to search for evidence that supports our preconceptions while ignoring evidence to the contrary.


What is creativity?

Creativity is the ability to produce ideas that are both novel and valuable.


What is convergent thinking?

Convergent thinking is the type of thinking in which a problem is seen as having only one answer, and all
lines of thinking will eventually lead to that single answer by using previous knowledge and logic.


What is divergent thinking?

Divergent thinking (a kind of creativity) is a type of thinking in which a person starts from one point and comes up with many different ideas or possibilities based on that point.


What is language?

Language is an open and symbolic communication system that has rules of grammar and allows its users to express abstract and distant ideas. Open mean free to change. Symbolic means no connection between a sound and the meaning or idea associated with it.


What is a phonemes?

Phonemes are the smallest distinctive sound unit in a spoken language.


What is a morpheme?

Morpheme is the smallest unit that carries meaning may be a word or a part of a word.


What is a grammar?

Grammar is a system of rules that governs the structure and use of language. Enables us to communicate with and understand others.


What are semantics?

Semantics are the rules for determining the meaning of words and sentences.


What is syntax?

Syntax is the rules for ordering words into grammatically
correct (sensible) sentences.


What is pragmatics?

Pragmatics is the practical aspects of communicating with others, or social “niceties” of language.


What is the Linguistics relativity hypothesis (Vygotsky)?

Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis (Vygotsky) is the theory that the language a person speaks largely determines the nature of that person’s thoughts.


What is cognitive universalism (Piaget)?

Cognitive Universalism (Piaget) is the theory that concepts are universal and influence the development of language.


Describe the discussion about animals and language.

Studies have been somewhat successful in demonstrating that animals can develop a basic kind of language, including some abstract ideas.
Controversy exists over the lack of evidence that animals can learn syntax, which some feel means that animals are not truly learning and using language.


What is cognition?

Cognition (aka thinking) is the mental activity that goes on in the brain when a person is organizing and attempting to understand and/or communicate information to others. Involves acquiring, storing, retrieving, and using information. Making decisions, comparing things, and solving problems. The mental manipulation of representations of information we encounter in our environments.