Thinking and Mental Images
How are mental images and concepts involved in thinking?
• Mental images – picture-like representations
of objects and events
– Kosslyn’s island
• Concept – idea that represents category of
objects, events or activities
• Formal concepts - defined by specific rules or features
• Natural concepts - form as result of real world
What are the methods people use to solve problems and make decisions?
• Problem solving – cognition used to reach goal by
thinking/behaving in certain ways
– Trial and error – one possible solution after another tried until
– Algorithms – specific steps for solving certain problems
– Heuristics – guess based on experience (“rule of thumb”)
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
• Artificial intelligence – creation of a
machine that can think like a human
Why does problem solving sometimes fail and what is creative thinking?
• Functional fixedness - thinking about only most typical
functions of objects
• Mental set - persist using past problem-solving patterns
• Confirmation bias – search for evidence that fits beliefs
while ignoring evidence not fitting beliefs
Divergent & Convergent Thinking
All lines of One point to many
problem solving ideas or
lead to single possibilities
Elements and Structure of Language
How is language defined?
of Morphemes Rules for
meaning Grammar language use
LANGUAGE Syntax combining words
Practical and and phrases
social parts of Pragmatics
Basic units of
Relationship Between Language & Thought
Does language influence the way people think? Can animals learn language?
• Piaget vs. Vygotsky
– Which develops first…concepts or language?
• Linguistic relativity hypothesis – processes and
concepts controlled by language
– How many Inuit words for snow?
• Cognitive universalism – concepts (e.g., color) are
universal and affect language development
• Communication vs. language – instinctual
behavior vs. symbolic thought
• Animals can develop basic language
– Kanzi the chimp
• Recognizes 150 words
• Some ability to follow complex instructions