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Language_ Thinking_ and Intelligence

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					  Chapter 8
Language & Thinking
                                  Language
   Communication: the sending and receiving
    of information
       Language: the primary mode of communication
        among humans
           A systematic way of communicating information
            using symbols and rules for combining them
           Speech: oral expression of language
               Approximately 5,000 spoken languages exist today.
Broca’s & Wernicke’s
        Areas
        Do Animals Use Language?

   Since 1930s, numerous attempts have been made
    to teach language to a few select species.

   The most appropriate conclusion to draw:
       Nonhuman species show no capacity to produce
        language on their own, but
       Certain species can be taught to produce
        languagelike communication.
                        Infants Born Prepared
                          to Learn Language
   Language acquisition – learning vs. inborn
    capacities
       Behaviorism’s language theory
           People speak as they do because they have been
            reinforced for doing so.
           Behaviorists assumed children were relatively passive.
           The problem with this theory is that it does not fit the
            evidence.
           Operant conditioning principles do not play the primary
            role in language development.
Infants Born Prepared to Learn Language
     The nativist perspective:
         Language development proceeds according to an inborn
          program.
         Language Acquisition Device (Noam Chomsky): humans
          are born with specialized brain structures (Language
          Acquisition Device) that facilitates the learning of
          language.
     Interactionist perspectives:
         Propose environmental and biological factors interact
          together to affect the course of language development.
         Social interactionist perspective strongly influenced by
          Lev Vygotsky’s writings
                         Infants Born Prepared
                           to Learn Language
   Assessing the three perspectives on language
    acquisition:
       General consensus:
            Behaviorists place too much emphasis on conditioning
             principles.
            Nativists don’t give enough credit to environmental
             influences.
            Interactionist approaches may offer best possible
             solution.
                             The Linguistic Relativity
                                   Hypothesis
   Does language determine thought?
   Benjamin Lee Whorf’s linguistic relativity hypothesis
       Proposed that the structure of language determines the
        structure of thought (without a word to describe an experience,
        you cannot think about it).
       However, research indicates that just because a language lacks
        terms for stimuli does not mean that language users cannot
        perceive features of the stimuli.
       The answer is no. Most psychologists believe in a weaker
        version of Whorf’s hypothesis—that language can influence
        thinking.
                    Thinking

   Thinking—cognition
       The mental activity of knowing
       The processes through which knowledge is
        acquired
       The processes through which problems are
        solved
                      Concept Formation
   Concept: a mental grouping of objects, ideas, or
    events that share common properties
       Concepts enable people to store memories in an organized
        fashion.
   Categorization is the process of forming concepts.
       We form some concepts by identifying defining features.
       Problem with forming concepts by definition is that many
        familiar concepts have uncertain or fuzzy boundaries.
                         Concept Formation


   Thus, categorizing has less to do with features that define
    all members of a concept and has more to do with features
    that characterize the typical member of a concept.

   The most representative members of a concept are
    known as prototypes.
When Is It a “Cup,” and
 When Is It a “Bowl”?
              Fuzzy Boundaries
   Determine whether something belongs to a
    group by comparing it with the prototype.

   Objects accepted and rejected define the
    boundaries of the group or concept.

   This is different for different people.
                         Problem-Solving
                            Strategies
   Common problem-solving strategies:
       Trial and error: trying one possible solution after
        another until one works
       Algorithm: following a specific rule or step-by-step
        procedure that inevitably produces the correct
        solution
       Heuristic: following a general rule of thumb to
        reduce the number of possible solutions
       Insight: sudden realization of how a problem can
        be solved
                     “Internal” Obstacles Can
                     Impede Problem Solving
   Confirmation bias: the tendency to seek information that
    supports our beliefs, while ignoring disconfirming
    information

   Mental set: the tendency to continue using solutions that
    have worked in the past, even though a better alternative
    may exist

   Functional fixedness: the tendency to think of objects as
    functioning in fixed and unchanging ways and ignoring
    other less obvious ways in which they might be used
The Candle Problem
                              Decision-Making
                                 Heuristics
   Representativeness heuristic:
       the tendency to make decisions based on how closely an
       alternative matches (or represents) a particular prototype

       Availability heuristic:
          the tendency to judge the frequency or probability of an
          event in terms of how easy it is to think of examples of that
          event
                      Decision-Making
                         Heuristics
Five conditions most likely to lead to heuristic use:
 People don’t have time to engage in systematic analysis.

 People are overloaded with information.

 People consider issues to be not very important.

 People have little information to use in making a decision.

 Something about the situation primes a given heuristic.

				
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posted:2/1/2013
language:English
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