Thinking and Language by wuyunyi


									                                                   C10:1                                                                       C10:2
 Myers’ PSYCHOLOGY                                         Outline
                                                                                                  • Thinking and Language
                                                           • Thinking                                 - Language Influences
   Chapter 10                                                - Concepts                                  Thinking
                                                             - Solving Problems                       - Thinking in Images
 Thinking and                                                - Making Decisions                   • Animal Thinking and
   Language                                                     • Thinking about risk
                                                             - Belief Bias
                                                                                                      - Do animals think?
                                                           • Language                                 - Do animals exhibit
                                                             - Language Structure                        language?
                                                             - Language Development                   - The Case of the Apes

                                                   C10:3                                                                       C10:4
Thinking                                                   Concepts
                                                           • Concepts are mental groupings of similar objects,
• Cognition                                                  events, or people
  - Mental activity associated with processing,               - Many important concepts have labels (names)
    understanding, and communicating information                 • Some concrete: ball, chair, shirt, robin, …
                                                                 • Some abstract: angry, freedom, government, …
• Cognitive Psychology                                     • Various ways to represent meaning
  - Study of these mental activities includes                 - Definitions: necessary and sufficient conditions
     • Concept formation                                         • Triangle is 3-sided closed geometric form
                                                                 • Applies to few natural concepts (e.g., chair, bird)
     • Problem solving
                                                              - Hierarchical relations (e.g., Dog is an Animal, Robin is a
     • Decision making                                          Bird) or Associative / Semantic networks (+1)
     • Judgement formation                                    - Prototype: suggested by much psychological research
  - Study of both logical and illogical thinking                 • Best or Average example of category
                                                                 • Matching new items to prototype provides quick and easy way to
                                                                   assign new items to category; e.g., compare new feathered
                                                                   creature to prototypical bird, such as a robin (+2)

Semantic Network                                   C10:5
                                                                                                             Concept and


• Categorization                                            C10:7
                                                                    Solving            • Trial and Error                    C10:8

  - Can lead to distorted memories                                                       - E.g., left
     • Morphed Caucasian / Asian faces (below): intermediate                           • Algorithms (+2)
       faces remembered as more CA/AS prototypical                                       - Methodical, logical rule or
     • Eyewitness may remember face classified as Black as                                   procedure that guarantees solving
       darker than it actually was                                                           particular problem
                                                                                       • Heuristics (+2)
                                                                                          - Rule-of-thumb strategy that often
                                                                                            allows us to solve problems
                                                                                          - Usually faster than algorithms,
                                                                                            but more error-prone
                                                                                          - Sometimes unaware of using

                                                                    Analogy Heuristic                                 C10:11
Thinking                                                            • To solve novel problem, try to find analogy
                                                                      (parallels) to other problem(s)
         SPLOYOCHYG                                                    - A patient has cancerous tumor. Beams of radiation
                                                                        will destroy tumor, but in high doses also destroys
• Algorithm                                                             healthy tissue surrounding tumor. How can you use
  - All 907,208 combinations                                            radiation to safely eradicate tumor?
                                                                         • 10% solved without analogy
  - Exist (or feasible) only for well-defined problems
                                                                      - Fortress surrounded by moat is connected to land
• Heuristic                                                             by numerous narrow bridges. An attacking army
  - Throw out all YY combinations. Others?                              successfully captures fortress by sending few
  - Blackjack: take another card if less than 15                        soldiers across each bridge, converging upon it
  - Chess: control 4 center squares, castle early, …                     • 30% solution given this analogy
  - General: find analogy to another problem (+1)                        • 75% if told to relate two scenarios

Thinking:        • Insight (+1)                            C10:12                                                          C10:13

                    - Sudden, often novel realization of                                          • Person wants to make one
Insight               solution to problem                           Insight Problem                 continuous circle of 12 links
                    - Contrasts with strategy-based solutions                                       out of 4 3-link chains
                    - Wolfgang Kohler’s experiments on                                            • Costs 3 cents to separate a
                      insight by chimpanzees (below)                                                link and 2 cents to close
                    - Associated with Right Temporal Lobe                                           again
                      Activity (left)
                                                                                                  • Person only has 15 cents
                                                                                                  • Can it be done? If so,

                                                               C10:14                                           C10:15
Obstacles to Problem Solving                                            The Matchstick Problem
• Many insight problems difficult to solve because some
  mental obstacle or barrier to overcome
                                                                                                      • How would
  - Several discussed here and in following sections                                                    you arrange
• Fixation                                                                                              six matches
  - Fail to see problem from new perspective (e.g., eliminate                                           to form four
      one chain)                                                                                        equilateral
  - Common barrier to problem solving                                                                   triangles?
  - Various kinds of fixation illustrated in next few problems

                                                               C10:17                                           C10:19
The Three-Jugs Problem                                                  Problem Solving
                                                                        • Mental Set
             Given jugs of sizes:       Measure out                       - Tendency to approach problem in
Problem         A      B        C
                                        this much
                                                                            particular way, especially way that
  1             21     127          3        100                            succeeded in past
  2             14      46          5         22                          - But may not help solve new problem, or
  3             18      43      10             5                            may be less efficient (as in “formula”
  4             7       42          6         23                            approach for jug problems 6 and 7)
  5             20      57          4         29

  6             23      49          3         20

  7             15      39          3         18

                                                               C10:20                                           C10:21
The Candle-Mounting Problem                                             Problem Solving

                                                      • Using these      • Functional Fixedness
                                                        how would          - Tendency to think of things only
                                                        you mount            in terms of usual function(s)
                                                        candle on
                                                        bulletin           - Impedes problem solving when
                                                                             need to think about object
                                                                             serving unique functions (i.e., in
                                                                             new, creative way)

Another kind of Obstacle                                    C10:23
                                                                     Making Decisions

• Confirmation Bias                                                   - Another type of thinking is Making Decisions and
  - Tendency to search for (and remember) information that               Forming Judgments
    confirms our preconceptions
                                                                       - As with problem solving, people often hindered by
  - Wason card problem
                                                                         certain cognitive flaws in their thinking
      • There are 4 cards with following on up side
             E              K            4          7                • Using and Misusing Heuristics
      • Which cards must you turn over to determine whether            - Representativeness Heuristic
        the following rule is true?                                        • Rule of thumb for judging likelihood of things in terms of
      • Rule: If vowel on one side, then even number on other                how well they seem to represent, or match, particular
  - Given opportunity to learn more about someone given prior                prototypes
    information, we tend to ask questions consistent with initial          • May lead one to ignore other relevant information, such
    information (e.g., extrovert, introvert)                                 as Base Rate (+1)
  - Contributed to US government belief that Saddam Hussein
    had Weapons of Mass Destruction

                                                            C10:25                                                                C10:26
                                                                     Representativeness Heuristic
• Tversky & Kahneman’s “poetry reading truck
  driver”                                                              - Which of following sequences of births of Boys (B)
   - Is “short, slim person who likes to read poetry more                and Girls (G) is most likely at Health Sciences
      likely to be professor of classics at Ivy League                   Center?
      University or truck driver?”                                         • 1.   BBBBBB
                                                                           • 2.   BGGBGB
  -   Most people choose professor, but
                                                                           • 3.   BBBGGG
  -   Only 40 or so professors of classics at Ivy League                   • 4.   BGBGBG
      schools, and perhaps half short and slim = 20
                                                                       - People tend to pick 2 although all equally likely
                                                                       - 2 is more representative (typical) of our impression
  -   400,000 truck drivers, 1/8 slim = 50,000, 1/100
                                                                         of random sequence of births
      read poetry = 500 candidates
  -   Therefore, much more likely to be truck driver

                                                            C10:27                                                                C10:28
Making Decisions                                                     • Factors that        The Fear Factor – Do We
• Availability Heuristic                                               contribute to fear, Fear the Right Things?
  - Estimate likelihood of events based on availability in             often mistaken
    memory                                                              - Availability: plane
  - If instances come readily to mind (perhaps because                   crash memorable
    of vividness), we presume such events are common                     (right)
       • Example 1: airplane crash, but much more likely to die in     - What we do not
         motor vehicle accident                                          control: flying vs.
       • Example 2: more words with r at beginning or as 3rd             driving
                                                                       - Biological
  - Contributes to people’s mistaken judgments about                     Preparedness
      risk of various activities (+1)
                                                                         (Learning): height
                                                                       - Immediacy

                                                            C10:29                                                            C10:30
Making Decisions
                                                                     Making             • Framing
• Overconfidence                                                     Decisions              - The way issue is posed
  - People tend to be more confident than                                                   - How issue is framed can
    warranted that they are correct                                                           affect decisions and
  - Overestimate accuracy of our beliefs and                                                  judgements
    judgments                                                                                  • e.g.: What is best way to
                                                                                                 market ground beef: 25% fat
  - e.g., most people believe they are in top                                                    or 75% lean?
    25% of drivers                                                                             • Two identical quantitatively,
  - e.g., students under-estimate amount of time                                                 but 2nd probably more
    to complete assignments                                                                      “attractive” to consumers
  - Leads to premature termination of evidence                                                 • 2nd example (+1)

A Second Framing Example                          C10:31
                                                                     Belief Bias

• Suppose you have serious disease that needs to be                  • Belief Bias
  treated with medication. Your risk of dying over next
  year is 10% if you don't receive treatment.                           - Tendency for preexisting beliefs to distort logical
• There are only 2 possible medications for disease:
  Medications A and B. Cost about same and almost no                    - Makes invalid conclusions seem valid, or valid
  side effects.                                                           conclusions seem invalid
  - Medication A: If you take medication it will decrease your          - Consider following two syllogisms
    risk of dying by 80% (four-fifths) over next year.                     • Democrats support free speech. Dictators are not
  - Medication B: If 100 people with disease, like you, take this            democrats. Dictators do not support free speech.
    medication, 8 deaths can be prevented over next year.                  • Robins have feathers. Chickens are not robins. Chickens
  - Which medication do you want? (Pick one answer.)                         do not have feathers.
     •   1.   Medication A
     •   2.   Medication B
     •   3.   Either Medication A or B
     •   4.   Can't decide.

                                                            C10:33                                                            C10:34
Belief Bias
• Belief Perseverance
  - Clinging to initial conceptions after basis on which
    they were formed discredited
  - Important to consider opposite outcome to that
    which supports our beliefs
  - Should be cautious in justifying (i.e., explaining)
    why our beliefs are correct
  - Ross, Lepper, and Hubbard (1975): Subjects
    examined suicide notes to determine which were
    real. A third each of participants told they were
    right 10, 17, or 24 out of 25 times. Then told they
    had been lied to and asked to estimate more
    correctly. Those who had been told higher
    numbers continued to guess high.

                                                               C10:35                                                                            C10:36
Outline                                                                 • Language                      Language
                                      • Thinking and Language             - Spoken, written, or gestured words and way people combine
• Thinking                                                                  them to communicate meaning; complex process (below)
                                        - Language Influences
                                                                          - Approximately 6,000 languages, although not all viable
  - Concepts                              Thinking
                                                                            because of few speakers
  - Solving Problems                    - Thinking in Images
                                                                        • Language Structure
  - Making Decisions                  • Animal Thinking and               - Hypothesized to involve 3 (or 4) sub-systems: Phonetics,
     • Thinking about risk              Language                            Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics
  - Belief Bias                         - Do animals think?
• Language                              - Do animals exhibit
  - Language Structure                    language?
  - Language Development                - The Case of the Apes

• Concerns sounds of                     Phonetics
                                                               C10:37                                                                            C10:38

• Phoneme
  - Smallest distinctive sound
    unit in spoken language
  - About 40 or so phonemes
    in English (right)
  - Regularities of which people
    not always aware
     • Compare p t k and b d g (+1)
     • Categorical perception (+2)
  - Mature adults often have
    difficulty with distinctive
    sounds in other languages
    (but see later graph for

                                                               C10:39                                                                            C10:40
                                                                        • Rules to combine words into grammatically sensible
                                                                          sentences in given language
                                                                        • Grammar
                                                                          - System of rules in language that enables us to communicate
                                                                            with and understand others
                                                                          - Fundamental work done by linguist Noam Chomsky
                                                                             • Postulated abstract rules to account for structure of language (+1)
                                                                             • Not formal rules taught as grammar in school: Most syntactic rules
                                                                               learned implicitly as children, but different story for adults (see later
                                                                               slide on development of grammar)
                                                                          - Able to explain certain features of human language
                                                                             • Distinguished Deep vs. Surface structures: e.g., “The boy kissed the
                                                                               girl” and “The girl was kissed by the boy” have different surface
                                                                               structures but same deep structure
                                                                             • Ambiguous sentences differ at Deep Structure level (+2 +3)

                                                     C10:41                                                         C10:42
Chomsky’s Phrase Structure Grammar

                                                     C10:43                                                         C10:44
                                                              • Set of rules by which people derive meaning
                                                                from words and sentences
                                                                 - Also study of meaning
                                                              • Morpheme
                                                                 - Smallest unit that carries meaning in language
                                                                 - May be word or part of word, such as prefix or
                                                                  suffix in English (other languages have more ways
                                                                  to transform morphemes)
                                                                   • Boys = Boy + s (plural) = 2 morphemes
                                                                   • Looked = Look + ed (past) = 2 morphemes
                                                              • Explaining meaning
                                                                - Prototypes, Associative / Semantic networks (see
                                                                  concepts section)

                                                     C10:45                                                         C10:46
• Study use of language in context
• Includes traditional nonverbal communication
  - Gestures, non-speech sounds, body language, …
• Other non-verbal aspects of speech
  - Turn-taking: wait for pause or invitation to speak
  - Relevance: don’t respond with content unrelated to
    what is being said
  - Indirect speech acts: “Can you stop fidgeting?” Is
    this a question, a request, a criticism, …?
  - Nonliteral aspects of speech: Metaphor, Irony,
    Jokes, …
  - Much communication nonverbal (+1)

                                                    C10:47                                            C10:48
                                                             Language    • Babbling Stage
Language Development
                                                             Development    - Begins at 3 to 4 months
                                                                                 - Infant spontaneously utters
                                                                                   various sounds at first
                                                                                   unrelated to household
                                                                               • One-Word Stage
                                                                                 - From about 1 to 2 years
                                                                                 - Stage during which child
                                                                                   speaks mostly in single
                                                                                 - Rapid growth in vocabulary
                                                                                   (+1, +2)

                                                    C10:49                                                    C10:50

                                                    C10:51                                                    C10:52
Language Development
• Two-Word Stage
  - Begins about age 2
  - Stage during which child speaks mostly two-
   word statements
• Telegraphic Speech
  - Child speaks like telegram – “go car” – using
   mostly nouns and verbs and omitting “auxiliary”
• Mean Length of Utterance (+1)
  - Increases dramatically after 1.5 – 2.5 years, with
   marked variability between children

                                                    C10:53                                                                                     C10:54
Language Development                                         Language Development
  - Several interesting effects during language
                                                             • All born able to recognize speech sounds from all
• Over-generalization
                                                              Percentage     100
  - Tendency to apply rules where they may not occur          able to         90
                                                              discriminate    80
    in language                                                               70
                                                              Hindi t’s
  - e.g., irregular past tense of verbs; child may say                        60
    “goed” instead of “went”                                                  40

• Importance of exposure to language models                                   30
  - e.g., discrimination of speech sounds in different                        10

    languages (+1 +2)                                                          0    Hindi-        6-8         8-10       10-12      English-
                                                                                   speaking      months      months      months     speaking
                                                                                    adults                                           adults
                                                                                              Infants from English-speaking homes

Language Development: Phoneme PerceptionC10:55               Language Development

                      % correct                              • Much controversy over mechanisms by which
 • Werker &             100                                    language acquired: Nativist-Empiricist contrast
   Desjardins (1995)                                           - Skinner: learning mechanisms
                       80                                      - Chomsky: innate hard-wired brain mechanisms (Inborn
   - Infants raised in
                                                                 Universal Grammar, Language Acquisition Device or LAD)
     English (E) or  60
                                                               - Cognitive neuroscientists: statistical learning of regularities
     Hindi (H)
                                                                 based on experience
     speaking homes 40
                                                             • Composite model may ultimately emerge (+1)
   - Reinforced head 20
                                                               - Both Heredity and Environment Important
     turn paradigm
                                                             • Evidence
   - Tested at 6 and 0 H-6m       E-6m   H-12m    E-12m        - Correlation between complexity of mother and child speech
     12 months                                                   (+2): Genes or Modeling?
                                                               - Age of exposure to language in bilinguals (+3)
                                                               - Critical periods and feral children (+4 to +5)

                                                    C10:57                                                                                     C10:58
Language Development
                                         • Genes
                                          for                Correlation
                                                             of Mother
                                          experience         and Child
                                          activates          Speech
                                          them as it

                                                                                            • Victor (1797)                                C10:60
Language Development                                                 Case Studies:                - Found at age 13; apparently living in
                                                                     Isolated and                   woods; neither deaf nor mute;
                                                                                                    exhibited characteristics common to
                                            • New language           Feral Children                 wild children (e.g. insensitive to
                                              learning harder
                                                                                                    temperature, eating habits)
                                              with age
                                                                                                  - After 9 months: could spell words (by
                                            • Critical period(s)                                    matching written form to object);
                                              during which                                          cried, sense of justice, empathy,
                                              exposure to                                           gestural communication
                                              language is                                         - After 5 years
                                              important                                              • Could finally apply names of things to
                                              (essential?)                                             larger semantic groups (book)
                                            • Feral children                                         • Could write some words, learned
                                              fail to acquire                                          adjectives and verbs.
                                                                                                     • Details of vocabulary size unknown

• Genie (1970): modern-day isolated child                   C10:61                                                                         C10:62

  - Found at 13; insensitive to temperature and touch, silent,       Outline
    but social (good eye contact), mouthed words silently                                                  • Thinking and
  - After 8 months: ~200 words, utterances correspond to 2-          • Thinking                              Language
    word Stage                                                         - Concepts                               - Language Influences
  - Eventually large vocabulary, but Syntax impoverished               - Solving Problems                         Thinking
  - After 1 year: spontaneous production of 3-word utterances,         - Making Decisions                       - Thinking in Images
    followed compound 2-word utterances
  - Preposed negative (e.g., with no job would she be happy)
                                                                          • Thinking about risk            • Animal Thinking and
                                                                       - Belief Bias                         Language
  - After 2 years: -ing morpheme; still mostly content words; no
    function morphemes (pronouns, affixes, articles, occasional      • Language                                 - Do animals think?
    plural marker, occasional "the“)                                   - Language Structure                     - Do animals exhibit
  - After 3 years: Past tense markers                                  - Language Development                     language?
  - Most sentences 5-7 morphemes long                                                                           - The Case of the Apes
  - Some ability for longer expressions: At school teacher give
    block. Father hurt Genie cry long time ago. Mama not have
    baby grow up. Mama say not lift my leg in dentist chair. Mr.
    W. say put face in big swimming pool.

  Language and Thought
                                                                     Language Influences Thinking                                          C10:64

                                             • Interplay of          • Linguistic Determinism
                                               thought and             - Benjamin Whorf’s hypothesis that language
                                               language                  determines way people think:
                                             • Much                       • “We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native
                                                                            languages. The categories and types that we isolate from
                                               interest in                  the world of phenomena we do not find there because
                                               relationship                 they stare every observer in the face; on the contrary,
                                               between                      the world is presented in a kaleidoscopic flux of
                                                                            impressions which has to be organized by our minds—
                                               language                     and this means largely by the linguistic systems in our
                                               and thinking                 minds.” (Whorf, 1940)
                                                                       - Strong version of Whorfian hypothesis not generally
                                                                         endorsed by contemporary scholars, but …

                                                           C10:65                                                           C10:66
• Whorf (cont’d)                                                     • Language has subtle effects on color perception
  - But still number of important findings                             - e.g., faster to decide “different” for colors in
     • Benefits of bilingual education (Lambert)                         comparison A (different color names) than for
     • Benefits of sign language for deaf children                       colors in comparison B (same color names), even
     • Effects on concept of Self: e.g., “I am …” task                   though two comparisons involve colors that are
  - Some empirical results                                               equally far apart on color spectrum
     • Languages divide colour spectrum in different ways.
       English has many colour terms, whereas some languages
       have as few as two (roughly dark vs. light). These
       differences appear to influence perception and memory of
       colour, although not in dramatic ways originally proposed
       by Whorf and other advocates of linguistic relativity (+1).

                                                           C10:67    • Much interest about nature of                        C10:68
Thinking in Images                                                     animal thought, whether animals           Animal
                                                                       have “language,” and relationship
• Much learning and competent performance                              between two                               Thinking and
                                                                     • Earlier example of animals
 depends on skills that are non-linguistic                             demonstrating “insight” in solving        Language
  - Mental practice of athletes, musicians, …                          problem. Other examples.
  - Knowledge of syntactic and other linguistic rules                  - Animal uses stick to get insects from
    probably non-verbal                                                - Baboon “pretends” to see enemy
  - Recall earlier chapters (e.g., perception, reading,                  (gives alarm) to stop other baboons
                                                                         who are chasing him
    and other skilled behaviours)                                    • Animals can also pass “skills” on
• Issue also appears in chapter on Intelligence                        from one generation to next
                                                                       - Japanese macaques washing food
                                                                     • Do animals with these capacities
  - Some people have proposed different kinds of                       also demonstrate something that
    intelligence, some clearly verbal and some not                     merits label “language?” Much

                                                           C10:69                                                           C10:70
Animal Thinking and Language
                             • Animal communication -
                                 • Straight-line part of
                                   dance points in direction
                                   of nectar source, relative
                                   to sun (left)
                                 • Speed of dance indicates
                                   how far; slower = farther
                                   (+1 from Von Frisch)

                                                     C10:71                                        C10:72
Animal Thinking and Language                                  The Case of the   • Animal
• Animal                                                      Apes               Communication
  Communication                                                                 • Number of long-
  - Gestures observed in                                                         term attempts to
    apes, and also                                                               teach chimpanzees
    important part of                                                            language
    human speech                                                                  - Not speech, but
• In humans                                                                         sign language or
  - Disrupting gestures                                                             use of symbols for
    disrupts speaking                                                               words
  - Even blind gesture
  - Signing develops
    naturally among deaf

                                                     C10:73                                        C10:74
• Some quite amazing results
  - Impressive (for animals) vocabularies: several                              • Dolphins another
    hundred terms
                                                                                  animal with striking
  - Ability to use two-word utterances                                            abilities to learn
• Is it really language?                                                          complex tasks and
  • Much effort to achieve limited success                                        perhaps
  - Does not approach complexity of human language
  - Degree of novelty less than in children
  - Growth in vocabulary and length of utterances not
    comparable to children
  - Perhaps “wishful thinking” on part of researchers /


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