Chapters 10 and 11
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Chapters 10 and 11 Thinking, Language, and Intelligence PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Chapters 10 and 11 Thinking, Language, and Intelligence. Thinking. Cognition mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating Cognitive Psychologists study these mental activities concept formation problem solving decision making judgment formation.

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Chapters 10 and 11 Thinking, Language, and Intelligence

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Chapters 10 and 11

Thinking, Language, and Intelligence


  • Cognition

    • mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating

  • Cognitive Psychologists

    • study these mental activities

      • concept formation

      • problem solving

      • decision making

      • judgment formation


  • Concept

    • mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people

  • Prototype

    • mental image or best example of a category

      • matching new items to the prototype provides a quick and easy method for including items in a category (as when comparing feathered creatures to a prototypical bird, such as a robin)

Which one is the prototype?


  • Algorithm

    • Step by step procedures that guarantee a solution

    • methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem

    • contrasts with the usually speedier–but also more error-prone--use of heuristics


  • Heuristic

    • simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently

    • usually speedier than algorithms

    • more error-prone than algorithms




  • Algorithm

    • all 907,208 combinations

  • Heuristic

    • throw out all YY combinations

    • other heuristics?

Heuristic searching To search for hot cocoa mix, you could search every supermarket aisle (an algorithm), or you could check the breakfast, beverage, and baking supplies sections (heuristics). The heuristics approach is often speedier, but an algorithmic search guarantees you will find it eventually.


  • Insight

    • sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem

    • contrasts with strategy-based solutions

  • Creativity

    • the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas

The Aha! moment A burst of right temporal lobe activity accompanies insight solutions to word problems

five components of creativity

  • Expertise

  • Imaginative thinking skills

  • A venturesome personality

  • Intrinsic Motivation

  • A creative environment

What Hinders our Problem Solving?

  • Confirmation Bias

    • tendency to search for information that confirms one’s preconceptions

  • Fixation

    • inability to see a problem from a new perspective

    • impediment to problem solving

The Matchstick Problem

  • How would you arrange six matches to form four equilateral triangles?

The Three-Jugs Problem

  • Using jugs A, B, and C, with the capacities shown, how would you measure out the volumes indicated?

The Candle-Mounting Problem

  • Using these materials, how would you mount the candle on a bulletin board?

Example of Fixation

  • Mental Set

    • tendency to approach a problem in a particular way

    • especially a way that has been successful in the past but may or may not be helpful in solving a new problem

Example of Fixation

  • Functional Fixedness

    • tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions

    • impediment to problem solving

The Matchstick Problem

  • Solution to the matchstick problem

The Three-Jugs Problem

  • Solution: a) All seven problems can be solved by the equation shown in (a): B - A - 2C = desired volume.

  • b) But simpler solutions exist for problems 6 and 7, such as A - C for problem 6.

The Candle-Mounting Problem

  • Solving this problem requires recognizing that a box need not always serve as a container

Heuristics (Mental Shortcuts)

  • Representativeness Heuristic

    • judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes

    • may lead one to ignore other relevant information


  • Availability Heuristic

    • estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory

    • if instances come readily to mind (perhaps because of their vividness), we presume such events are common

    • Example: airplane crash


  • Overconfidence

    • tendency to be more confident than correct

    • tendency to overestimate the accuracy of one’s beliefs and judgments

    • How can overconfidence lead to cramming?


  • Framing

    • the way an issue is posed

    • how an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgments

    • Example: What is the best way to market ground beef--as 25% fat or 75% lean?

Framing and Options

  • Preferred portion size depends on framing

    • SuperSize Me?

  • Why choosing to be an organ donor depends on where you live.

    • Automatic?

  • How to help employees decide to save for their retirement.

    • Opt-In or Opt-Out


  • Belief Bias

    • the tendency for one’s preexisting beliefs to distort logical reasoning

    • sometimes by making invalid conclusions seem valid or valid conclusions seem invalid

  • Belief Perseverance

    • clinging to one’s initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited


  • Intuition- an effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or thought, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning

  • Faced with complex decisions involving many factors, the best advice may indeed be to take our time—to "sleep on it"—and to await the intuitive result of our unconscious processing.

Artificial Intelligence

  • Artificial Intelligence

    • designing and programming computer systems

      • to do intelligent things

      • to simulate human thought processes

        • intuitive reasoning

        • learning

        • understanding language

Artificial Intelligence

  • Computer Neural Networks

    • computer circuits that mimic the brain’s interconnected neural cells

    • performing tasks

      • learning to recognize visual patterns

      • learning to recognize smells


  • Language

    • our spoken, written, or gestured works and the way we combine them to communicate meaning

  • Phoneme

    • in a spoken language, the smallest distinctive sound unit

    • Bat= phonemes b, a and t

    • 869 exist, but English only uses about 40

    • Changes in phonemes produces changes in meaning

      • Ie bat, bet, beet, beat, bit, etc.


  • Morpheme

    • in a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning

    • may be a word or a part of a word (such as a prefix or suffix)

  • Grammar

    • a system of rules in a language that enables us to communicate with and understand others


  • Semantics

    • the set of rules by which we derive meaning from morphemes, words, and sentences in a given language

    • also, the study of meaning

    • Ie add –ed to a verb and it is past tense

  • Syntax

    • the rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences in a given language

      • Ie adjectives come before nouns












Percentage able

to discriminate

Hindi t’s













Infants from English-speaking homes


  • We learn about 3500 words per year

  • We are all born to recognize speech sounds from all the world’s languages

How Do We Learn Language?

  • Skinner and Operant Learning: Through association, imitation, and reinforcement once the vocal musculature becomes able to learn

  • Chomsky: Language is an acquisition device than can be turned on and off; there is a universal grammar that exists


  • Babbling Stage

    • beginning at 3 to 4 months

    • the stage of speech development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to the household language

  • One-Word Stage

    • from about age 1 to 2

    • the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly in single words


  • Two-Word Stage

    • beginning about age 2

    • the stage in speech development during which a child speaks in mostly two-word statements

  • Telegraphic Speech

    • early speech stage in which the child speaks like a telegram-–“go car”--using mostly nouns and verbs and omitting “auxiliary” words

Summary of Language Development




Babbles many speech sounds.


Babbling reveals households




One-word stage.


Two-world, telegraphic speech.


Language develops rapidly into

complete sentences.



  • Genes design the mechanisms for a language, and experience activates them as it modifies the brain


correct on














Age at school


  • New language learning gets harder with age

Young children have a readiness to learn language. Ten years after coming to the United States, Asian immigrants took a grammar test. Although there is no sharply defined critical period for second language learning, those who arrived before age 8 understood American English grammar as well as native speakers did. Those who arrived later did not

Language Limits

  • When a young brain does not learn any language, its language-learning capacity never fully develops.

  • Childhood seems to represent a critical (or "sensitive") period for mastering certain aspects of language

    • Deaf children who gain hearing with cochlear implants by age 2 develop better oral speech than do those who receive implants after age 4

    • Natively deaf children who learn sign language after age 9 never learn it as well as those who become deaf at age 9 after learning English.


  • The interplay of thought and language

Does language influence our thinking?

Whorf’s Linguistic Relativity

  • The idea that language determines the way we think (not vive versa).

  • The Hopi tribe has no past tense in their language, so Whorf says they rarely think of the past.

Do people that speak more than one language think differently depending on their language at that time?

Thinking without Language

  • We can think in words.

  • But more often we think in mental pictures.

In 1977, Reggie Jackson hit 3 HR’s against the Dodgers. He has stated that before each at bat, he visualizes crushing a home run. Do you think visualization helps?

Do Animals think?

Kohler’s Chimpanzees

  • Kohler exhibited that Chimps can problem solve.

Honeybees seem to communicate

Apes and Signing

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