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Thought, Language, and Intelligence Thinking and Reasoning • Cognitive Psychology: The branch of psychology that focuses on the study of higher mental processes, including thinking, language, memory, problem-solving, knowing, reasoning, judging, and decision making. • Thinking: the manipulation of mental representations of information. Thinking transforms a specific representation of information into new and different forms, allowing us to answer questions, solve problems and reach goals. • Building Blocks of Thoughts – Mental images: representations in the mind that resemble the object or event being represented. – Concepts: categorizations of objects, events, or people that share common properties. Thinking and Reasoning • Algorithms and Heuristics – Algorithm: a rule that, if applied appropriately, guarantees a solution to a problem. Ex. Mathematical Formulas • Heuristic: A cognitive shortcut that may lead to a solution. – Representativeness Heuristic: a rule we apply when we judge people by the degree to which they represent a certain category or group of people. Concludes that something belongs in a certain class based on how similar it is to other items in that class. EX: given two boxes one with balls and the other with block which one would a balloon most likely fit with? – Availability Heuristic: involves judging the probability of an event on the basis of how easily the event can be recalled from memory. EX: You might make a judgment about not wanting to swim in the ocean after seeing the news report shark attacks. • Steps In Problem Solving – Preparation: Understanding and Diagnosing Problems • A problem may fall into one of three categories: 1. Arrangement Problems: require the problem solver to rearrange or combine elements in a way that will satisfy a certain criterion. Ex. Anagrams or Jigsaw Puzzles 2. Problems of Inducing Structure: a person must identify the existing relationships among the elements presented and then construct a new relationship among them. Ex. P168 3. Transformation Problems: an initial state, a goal state, and a method for changing the state into the goal state. • Production: Generating Solutions – Trial and Error – Means-Ends Analysis: repeated testing for differences between the desired outcome and what currently exists. Continuously asking where you are in relation to your final goal, and then deciding on the means by which you can get one step closer to that goal. EX: Get one main goal. Then set sub goals to achieve. Once achieved then set the next sub goal towards your main goal to achieve. Continue this process until main goal is achieved. Each step brings the problem solver closer to a resolution. • Judgment: Evaluating the Solutions – Judging the adequacy of a solution. – If the solution is clear then we will know immediately whether we have been successful. – If the solution is less concrete or if there is no single correct solution, evaluating solutions become much more difficult. We must decide which alternative solution is best. • Obstacles to Problem Solving – Functional Fixedness: the tendency to think of an object only in terms of its typical use. – Mental Set: the tendency for old patterns of problems to persist. – Confirmation Bias: the tendency to favor information that supports one’s initial hypothesis and ignore contradictory information that supports alternative hypothesis or solution. Even when we find evidence that contradicts a solution we have chosen, we are apt to stick with our original hypothesis. • Creativity and Problem Solving – Creativity: the ability to generate original ideas or solve problems in novel ways. – Divergent Thinking: the ability to generate unusual, nonetheless appropriate, responses to problems or questions. Ex. What can you do with a newspaper? You can use it as a dustpan. – Convergent Thinking: the ability to produce responses that are based primarily on knowledge and logic. Ex. What can you do with a newspaper? You can read it. Language • Language: The communication of information through symbols arranged according to systematic rules. • Grammar: The system of rules that determine how our thoughts can be expressed. 3 major components of grammar. – Phonology: the study of the smallest basic units of speech that affect meaning, and the way we use those sounds to form words, and produce meaning. – Syntax: refers to the rules that indicate how words and phrases can be combined to form sentences. – Semantics: meanings of words and sentences. Language • Theories of Language – Learning Theory Approach: suggests that language acquisition follows the principles of reinforcement and conditioning. – Nativist Approach: a genetically determined, innate mechanism directs language development. – Interactionist Approches: the view that language development is produced through a combination of genetically determined predispositions and environmental circumstances that help teach language. Diversity to Intelligences • Intelligence: the capacity to understand the world, think rationally, and use resources effectively when faced with challenges. – Fluid Intelligence: reflects information processing capabilities, reasoning, and memory. – Crystallized Intelligence: the accumulation of information, skills, and strategies that are learned through experience and can be applied in problem-solving situations. • Multiple intelligences – Gardner focused on how people learn and use symbol systems like language, mathematics, and music. He believes that everyone possesses a number of intellectual potentials. Each has it’s own set of skills. a. linguistic intelligence: good vocabulary and reading comprehension. b. logical mathematical intelligence: good math and reasoning skills. c. Spatial intelligence: understanding relationships between objects. d. Musical intelligence: ability to have rhythm, tempo, and sound identification. e. Body-Kinesthetic intelligence: skills at dancing, athletics, and eye-hand coordination. f. Intrapersonal intelligence: self understanding. g. Interpersonal intelligence: ability to understand and interact with others. h. Naturalistic intelligence: ability to see patterns in nature. • Information-Processing Approach: asserts that the way people store material in the memory and use that material to solve intellectual tasks provides the most accurate measure of intelligence. • Practical Intelligence: intelligence related to overall success in living. • Emotional Intelligence: the set of skills that underlie the accurate assessment, evaluation, expression, and regulation of emotions. • Unusual Intelligence – IQ: A score that takes into account an individual’s mental and chronological age. • First Way: IQ Score = (MA/CA) X 100 – High IQ scores tend to predict success in life but extremely high IQ does not guarantee anything!!! – People whose IQ is below 70 and who fail to display the skills at daily living, communication, and other tasks that are expected of those their age have traditionally been described as mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or mentally challenged. Variations in Intellectual Ability • Mental Retardation: A condition characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills. • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A major cause of mental retardation in newborns, occurring when the mother uses alcohol during pregnancy. • Familial Retardation: Mental retardation in which no apparent biological defect exists, but there is a history of retardation in the family. • Intellectually Gifted: The 2% to 4% of the population who have IQ scores greater than 130.
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