Chapter 7

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1

Chapter 7

Thinking, Intelligence, and Language



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The Cognitive Revolution in Psychology


Thinking


Intelligence


Language

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The Cognitive Revolution


Cognition


Way in which information is processed and
manipulated in remembering, thinking, and knowing



Shift away from behaviorism in 1950s


Computer analogy for human cognition and brain


Artificial Intelligence (AI)



Cognitive Psychology


Approaches seeking to explain observable behavior
by investigating mental processes and structures that
cannot be directly observed

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The Computer Analogy

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Thinking


Manipulating information mentally



Concepts


Problem Solving


Reasoning and Decision Making


Thinking Critically and Creatively


Expertise

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Concepts


Mental categories used to group objects, events,
and characteristics


Allow generalization


Allow association of experiences and objects


Aid memory


Provide clues about how to react to particular object or
experience



Prototype Model


Comparison of item with most typical item in category

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Problem Solving


Finding appropriate way to attain goal which
is not readily available



Find and Frame Problems


Develop Good Problem
-
Solving Strategies


Subgoaling


Algorithms


Heuristics


Evaluate Solutions


Rethink and Redefine Problems and Solutions

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Problem
-
Solving Strategies


Subgoaling


Setting intermediate goals


Defining intermediate problems



Algorithms


Strategies that guarantee solution to problem



Heuristics


Shortcut strategies that suggest solution to problem

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Obstacles to Problem Solving


Fixation


Using prior strategy


Failing to look at problem from fresh, new perspective



Functional Fixedness


Failure to solve problem due to fixedness on usual
function of something



Failure to “think outside the box”

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The Maier String Problem

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Reasoning & Decision Making


Reasoning


Mental activity of transforming information to reach
conclusions


Inductive Reasoning


From specific observations to generalizations


Deductive Reasoning


From general case to specific instance



Decision Making


Evaluating alternatives and choosing among them

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Biases in Decision Making


Confirmation Bias


Tendency to search for and use information that
supports ideas rather than refutes them



Hindsight Bias


Tendency to report falsely, after the fact, that
outcome was accurately predicted

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Heuristics in Decision Making


Rules of thumb



Availability Heuristic


Prediction about possibility of event based on
recalling or imagining similar events


Base Rate Fallacy


Tendency to ignore information about general principles in
favor of very specific but vivid information



Representativeness Heuristic


Tendency to make judgments about group
membership based on match to group stereotype

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Thinking Critically


Thinking reflectively and productively


Evaluating evidence



Mindfulness


Being alert and mentally present for everyday activities



Open
-
Mindedness


Being receptive to other ways of looking at things

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Thinking Creatively


To think about something in novel/unusual ways


To devise unconventional solutions to problems



Divergent Thinking


Producing many solutions to same problem


Brainstorming


Convergent Thinking


Producing s
ingle best solution to problem


Creative thinkers do both.

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Thinking Creatively


Flexibility and playful thinking


Inner motivation


Willingness to face risk


Objective evaluation of work

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Intelligence


Cultures vary in ways they define intelligence.



All
-
purpose ability . . .


to do well on cognitive tasks


to solve problems


to learn from experience

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Measuring Intelligence


Validity


Extent to which test measures what it is intended to
measure



Reliability


Extent to which test yields consistent, reproducible
measure of performance



Standardization


Uniform procedures for administering and scoring


Norms
, or performance standards for test

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IQ Tests


Mental Age (Binet)


Individual’s level of mental development relative to
that of others



Intelligence Quotient (Stern)


Mental Age (MA) vs. Chronological Age (CA)


IQ = MA/CA * 100



Normal Distribution


Symmetrical, bell
-
shaped curve



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Normal Distribution of IQ

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Cultural Bias in IQ Testing


Culturally biased tests have favored people . . .


From urban, rather than rural, environments


Of middle, rather than low, socioeconomic status


Who are White, rather than African American



Culture
-
Fair (or Culture
-
Reduced) Tests


Intelligence tests intended to be culturally unbiased


Include questions familiar to people of all backgrounds


Or include no verbal questions


Raven Progressive Matrices

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Raven Progressive Matrices

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Genetic Influences on Intelligence


Genetic markers


Locations for intelligence on chromosomes 4, 6, and 22



Heritability


Proportion of observable differences explained by genes


Approximately 75% for intelligence


Increases with age, due to choice of environments


Statistic providing information about group, not individual


Can change over time and across groups

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Environmental Influences


Impact of enriched environments and
opportunities on intellectual ability



Flynn Effect


Phenomenon of rapidly increasing IQ test scores


May be due to rising levels of education, or other
environmental factors



Intelligent
behaviors

always an option

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Extremes of Intelligence


Giftedness


High intelligence and/or superior talent in some area


Product of both heredity and environment



Mental Retardation


Condition of limited mental ability


Low IQ


Difficulty adapting


Exhibited these characteristics by age 18

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Mental Retardation


Organic Retardation


Caused by genetic disorder or by brain damage


Cultural
-
Familial Retardation


Mental deficit with no evidence of organic brain damage



Classification


Based on IQ


Mild, moderate, severe/profound


Based on degree of support required


Intermittent, limited, extensive, pervasive

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Theories of Multiple Intelligences


Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory


Analytical Intelligence


Creative Intelligence


Practical Intelligence



Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences (Frames of Mind)


Verbal, Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily
-
kinesthetic,
Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalist,
Existentialist

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Language


Form of communication based on system
of symbols



Infinite Generativity


Ability to produce endless number of
meaningful sentences

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Basic Properties of Language


Phonology


Sound system


Morphology


Rules for word formation


Syntax


Rules for combining words into phrases/sentences


Semantics


Meaning of words and sentences


Pragmatics


Ability of language to communicate more than said

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Language and Cognition


Language




Cognition


Language may determine/cause way we think (Whorf)


Or, language may merely reflect way we think



Cognition




Language


Mental retardation often, but not always, accompanied
by reduced language proficiency



Language and thought related, but not part of
single system

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Biological Influences on Language


Language Universals (Chomsky)


Biological prewiring to learn language in humans


Imitation not adequate to learn language



Language and the Brain


Language processing in left hemisphere


Broca’s area





speech production


Wernicke’s area




language comprehension

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Environmental Influences


Language as nothing more than chain of responses
acquired through reinforcement (Skinner)


Language as complex learned skill


Not tenable, given rapid language development



Critical period


Special time during which language must develop



Biology and environment interact for language.

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Language Development

Over the Life Span


Babbling


Endlessly repeating sounds and syllables


Sorting through sounds for ones with meaning


First words


Two
-
word statements



Learning second language


Sensitive periods