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Flashcards in chapter 8 Deck (40):

concepts vs. categories

concepts: mental representations of specific objects events or ideas (types of desserts)
categories: larger groups of concepts based on their similarity to one another


classical categorization approach

we group together objects and events into categories because they share common defining feature.
types of objects or events belong in categories if they share the same list of defining features


graded membership

considering some category members is better represented than if than others


sentence verification technique

verifying "a sparrow is a bird" or "a salmon is a fish" is faster than verifying "a penguin is a bird" or "an eel is a fish"



the average of all members of a category.


semantic network

consists of connections between categories with their features.
- intermediate level= basic level (bird, fish, and chair) rely most during everyday conversation
superordinate level= too general. ex: saying you saw an animal will not be specific enough
subordinate level=more specific than the basic level. we usually don't need this level of specificity in every day life.


linguistic relativity (Whorfian hypothesis)

the idea that differences in languages between cultures change the way members of those cultures actually perceive the world


judgement and decision making rely on

algorithm: a slow, logical, and step-by-step solution to a problem based on a set of rules. hard work and time consuming.
Heuristics: relying on passed experiences to make a quick and reasonable guess as to the problems. choosing actions that have worked before in a similar situation. quicker


cognitive obstacles:
functional fixedness

the tendency to treat objects as only serving one function.


two string problem

a person is standing in a room with two strings hanging from the ceiling, the goal is to tie the strings together but they are too far apart to reach both strings at once. the room contains a table, a sheet of paper, plyers and a cotton ball. the solution is to tie the plyers to one end of the strings so they can send that string swinging. this solution usually doesn't occur to people because they only think of what plyers are usually used for not what they can do.


representativeness heuristic

the assumption that all members of a category share the same features based on ones experience with only a small number of category members


conjunction fallacy

the failure to appreciate that the probability of two events occurring together must be lower than the probability of either of those events occurring alone


the availability heuristic

making judgements about the frequency with which events occur based on how easy it is for us to think of examples.
ex: are there more words that start with K or that K as the 3rd letter? most people state that there are more words that start with k because it is easier to think of examples but the right answer is that there are man more words that K as the 3rd letter


the anchoring effect

restrictions in a person's numerical judgements based solely on their exposure to some number


framing effects

when the mere wording of a question has a biasing influence on our judgement or decision making


belief perseverance

persisting in one's pre-existing beliefs despite exposure to evidence that contradicts those beliefs. people tend to change their minds


confirmation bias

seeking out and attending to evidence that supports some belief, while also actively avoiding evidence that contradicts that belief.


what are the two different types of decision makers

1. maximizers: thoroughly explore the pros and cons associated with every option in an effort to make the best possible choice.
2. satisficers: do very little and simply choose the first option that fulfills some minimum set of criteria


Paul Broca

research into language was studied on a patient that suffered a stroke years earlier. the patient had an odd neurological condition in that he could comprehend language and all other mental abilities but he had an impairment in speaking.



any impairment in the ability to produce or comprehend language, difficulty reading, writing, understanding, speaking


Broca's area

damage to the frontal lobe, left hemisphere of the brain


Carl Wernicke

physician, published his observations of a neurological syndrome in which patients respond and producing language have a specific problem of comprehending the speech of others.


Wernicke's area

damage to the left temporal lobe called the posterior superior temporal giris



a rule based means of communication, using spoke, written, or gestural symbols


advantages provided by language

1. allows us to communicate about things that are not physically present
2. allows for creating symbols to represent completely novel concepts that may not even exist in reality
3. can be transferred from one generation to the next


language productivity

the basic units of language permit an almost infinite number of combination



the smallest units of language. units of sound that we use to form words.



the smallest meaningful units of language.



the study of how people learn the meaning of words



the visual representation of words



the speech-based representation of words



a particular deficit in reading that can occur in individuals who are otherwise of normal or above-average intelligence.



the rules that define the acceptable order of combining words into phrases and sentences. relies on nouns and verbs that we can create.



body language, tone of voice and reliance on cultural expressions that are not to be taken literally provide some examples pragmatic influences on the way we use languages.
ex: sarcasm, facial expressions


language acquisition

we seem to effortlessly learn and obtain language in our childhood years by observing by the people around us.


Janet Werker

discovered that infants are able to discover between the two "d" sounds in the statements "this doll" and "your doll"
the difference is nearly impossible for English speakers to detect but infants can tell/


what are the features of infants that support language acquisition

1. infants prefer speech sounds to other types of sounds
2. infants soon come to prefer phoneme combination that common in the language they are exposed to


naming explosion

through infancy and toddlerhood humans learn so many words, so quickly it qualifies as a type of explosion.


overgeneralization errors

"we gooed to the park. I played on swings. I chased the gooeses." isn't right but that just because the child is applying common rules of English in the wrong situations.


sensitive period

early period of our lifespan during which acquisition of language occurs quite easily and naturally. after this period it appears to be extremely harder to learn a new language.