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Chapter 7: Cognition, Language, and Intelligence

Chapter 7: Cognition, Language, and Intelligence

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Chapter 7: Cognition, Language, and Intelligence

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  1. Chapter 7: Cognition, Language, and Intelligence

  2. Chapter 7 Overview • Cognition • Language • Intelligence • Explaining differences in intelligence • What arguments have been advanced to explain racial differences in IQ scores? • Beyond intelligence

  3. Cognition • The mental processes involved in acquiring, storing, retrieving, and using information, including sensation, perception, imagery, concept formation, reasoning, decision making, problem solving, and language

  4. How do imagery and concepts help us think? • Imagery isthe representation in the mind of a sensory experience • Images can be extremely helpful to memory • Images are also helpful in learning and maintaining motor skills • The same brain areas are activated when performing a task and mentally rehearsing the task using imagery

  5. How do imagery and concepts help us think? • Concepts are mental categories used to represent a class or group of objects, people, events, etc. • Concepts help us organize our thinking, order our world, and to think and communicate with speed and efficiency • Two basic types of concepts • Formal concept • A concept that is clearly defined by a set of rules, a formal definition, or a classification system • Natural concept • A concept acquired not from a definition but through everyday perceptions and experiences

  6. What is the role of heuristics in decision making? • Decision making is the process of considering alternatives and choosing among them • Bounded Rationality • Boundaries or limitations around the decision making process prevent it from being entirely logical • So, we often base decisions on strategies and educated guesses • Elimination by aspects • Decision making strategy in which alternatives are evaluated against criteria that are ranked according to importance

  7. What is the role of heuristics in decision making? • Heuristic is a guideline derived from experience and used in decision making and problem solving, despite no guarantee of accuracy • Availability heuristic • Rule stating that an event’s probability corresponds to the ease with which the event comes to mind • Example: Makes us overestimate the probability of some rare events, such as winning the lottery • Representativeness heuristic • Decision strategy based on how closely a new situation resembles a familiar one • Example: Helps us choose a fast-food restaurant • Recognition heuristic • Strategy in which the decision making process stops as soon as a factor that moves one toward a decision has been recognized • Example: Influences voting behavior, such as recognizing a candidate’s name as that of a woman

  8. What is the role of heuristics in decision making? • Framing is the way information is presented so as to emphasize either a potential gain or a potential loss • Which program would you choose to combat a disease that is expected to kill 600 people? • If program A is adopted, 200 people will be saved • If program B is adopted, there is a 1/3 probability that all 600 will be saved and a 2/3 probability that no people will be saved? • Now which program would you choose? • If program C is adopted, 400 people will die • If program D is adopted, there is a 1/3 probability that nobody will die and a 2/3 probability that all 600 people will die • Most people choose A and D • But A and C are the same, and B and D are the same • How the information is framed influences decision making

  9. What are some basic approaches to problem solving, and how do they differ? • Problem solving is the thoughts and actions required to achieve a desired goal • Analogy heuristic is comparing a problem to others encountered in the past • Working backward • Strategy of starting with the desired goal and working backwards to the current condition • Means-end analysis • Strategy in which the current position is compared with the desired goal and a series of steps are formulated and taken to close the gap between them

  10. What are some basic approaches to problem solving, and how do they differ? • Algorithm • A step-by-step procedure that guarantees a solution to a problem of a certain type • e.g., a mathematical formula • Functional fixedness • Failure to use familiar objects in novel ways to solve problems because of tendency to view objects only in terms of their customary functions • Mental set • Tendency to apply a familiar strategy to a problem without considering the special requirements of that problem • Confirmation bias • Selective attention to information that confirms preexisting beliefs

  11. What are some important applications of artificial intelligence technologies? • Artificial intelligence is the programming of computer systems to simulate human thinking in solving problems and in making judgments and decisions • Artificial neural networks • Computer systems intended to mimic the human brain • Expert systems • Computer programs designed to carry out specific functions within a limited domain

  12. Language • A means of communicating thoughts and feelings, using a system of socially shared but arbitrary symbols (sounds, signs, or written symbols) arranged according to rules of grammar

  13. What are the necessary components of any language? • Phonemes • The smallest units of sound in a spoken language • Morphemes • The smallest units of meaning in a spoken language • Syntax • The rules for arranging and combining words to form phrases and sentences

  14. What are the necessary components of any language? • Semantics • The meaning derived from morphemes, words, and sentences • Pragmatics • The patterns of intonation and social roles associated with language

  15. In what ways does language influence thinking? • Linguistic relativity hypothesis • The language a person speaks determines the nature of that person’s thoughts • Benjamin Whorf’s classic example: • Language used by Eskimo people has multiple words for snow • This enables Eskimos to think differently about snow than do other people • But, Eleanor Rosch • Found no difference in color discrimination between people whose language has many names for colors and those who have few words for colors

  16. Intelligence • An individual’s ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, and to overcome obstacles through mental effort

  17. Differing views of the definition of intelligence • Charles Spearman believed that intelligence is composed of a general ability, g, that underlies all intellectual functions • He observed that people who are bright in one area tend to be bright in other areas as well

  18. Differing views of the definition of intelligence • Louis Thurstone rejected Spearman’s notion of g • He proposed seven primary mental abilities • Verbal comprehension • Numerical ability • Spatial relations • Perceptual speed • Word fluency • Memory • Reasoning • He argued that a profile of strengths and weaknesses on the seven primary abilities is more accurate than a single IQ score

  19. Differing views of the definition of intelligence • Howard Gardner proposed that there are eight independent forms of intelligence • He developed this theory from studies of different types of brain damage that affect some forms of intelligence but leave others intact • He also studied savant syndrome • A combination of mental retardation and unusual talent or ability

  20. Gardner’s Eight Frames of Mind

  21. Differing views of the definition of intelligence • Robert Sternberg proposed that there are three types of intelligence • Componential intelligence • Analytical intelligence; measured by most intelligence tests • Experiential intelligence • Creative thinking and problem solving • Contextual intelligence • Practical intelligence, common sense

  22. Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence

  23. In what ways do achievement, aptitude, and intelligence tests differ? • Achievement tests • Measure what a person has learned up to a certain point in his or her life • Aptitude tests • Predict future performance in a particular setting or on a specific task • Intelligence tests • Measure general intellectual ability

  24. Why are reliability, validity, standardization, and cultural bias important in intelligence testing? • Reliability • Ability of a test to yield consistent results • Validity • Ability of a test to measure what it is intended to measure • Standardization • Establishing norms for comparing the scores of people who will take the test in the future • Administering tests using a prescribed procedure

  25. What did Binet, Terman, and Weschler contribute to the study of intelligence? • Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon • Developed the first intelligence test • Goal was to assess the intellectual potential of individual schoolchildren • Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale • Used a score called mental age • Based on number of items a child got right compared with average number right by children of various ages • If mental age was two years ahead of chronological age, child was termed “bright” • If mental age was two years behind chronological age, child was termed “retarded”

  26. What did Binet, Terman, and Weschler contribute to the study of intelligence? • William Stern • Devised the intelligence quotient (IQ) • Louis Terman • Revised the Binet-Simon test • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale • Established norms, or age-based averages, based on the scores of a large number of children

  27. What did Binet, Terman, and Weschler contribute to the study of intelligence? • David Wechsler • Developed the first individual intelligence test for individuals over age 16 • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) • Also developed a widely-used test for children • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) • Consists of 5 verbal and 10 nonverbal subtests

  28. The normal curve

  29. How do individuals who are gifted and those with mental retardation differ from others? • Terman (1925) studied 1528 people with IQs from 135 to 200 • Compared to the general population, high IQ individuals • Have better mental health • Earn more academic degrees • Achieve higher occupational status and higher income • Are better adjusted personally and socially • Are healthier

  30. How do individuals who are gifted and those with mental retardation differ from others? • Mental retardation is subnormal intelligence reflected by an IQ below 70 and by severely deficient adaptive functioning • Causes include • Brain injuries • Chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome • Chemical deficiencies • Hazards present during prenatal development • Degrees of retardation • Mild: IQ 55-70 • Moderate: IQ 40-54 • Severe: IQ 25-39 • Profound: IQ < 25

  31. Explaining differences in intelligence • There is a wide range of differences in intellectual functioning in our everyday interactions with other people. What accounts for these differences?

  32. What is the evidence supporting the nature and nurture sides of the IQ controversy? • Nature-nurture debate • The debate over whether intelligence and other traits are primarily the result of heredity or environment

  33. What is the evidence supporting the nature and nurture sides of the IQ controversy?

  34. What is the evidence supporting the nature and nurture sides of the IQ controversy? • Scarr and Weinberg adoption study • 140 African American and interracial children adopted into highly-educated White families • Average IQ was 106, above the national average • The earlier children were adopted, the higher their IQs on average • Results suggest that intelligence can be modified by environment

  35. What is the evidence supporting the nature and nurture sides of the IQ controversy?

  36. What arguments have been advanced to explain racial differences in IQ scores? • Historically, Blacks score about 15 points lower than Whites on IQ tests in USA • Arthur Jensen (1969) attributed the IQ gap to genetic differences • Findings by Ramey and others suggest that differences result from poverty and lack of educational opportunities • Minority children are more likely to be identified as gifted when culture-fair intelligence tests are used • Racial differences in IQ scores may also be explained by stereotype threat

  37. Example item on a culture-fair test

  38. In what ways do the cognitive abilities of males and females differ? • Girls generally have larger vocabularies and outperform boys in reading and writing • Boys generally do better in science and math • Some research indicates that hormonal differences contribute to the gap in math achievement • But others argue that social influences are more important • Boys generally outperform girls in some spatial tasks • Overall, gender differences for cognitive variables are small • And differences within each gender are greater than differences between genders

  39. Beyond intelligence • There are many aspects of cognitive functioning that are not captured by standardized tests of intelligence.

  40. What are the components of emotional intelligence? • Emotional intelligence is the ability to apply knowledge about emotions to everyday life • Includes awareness of one’s emotions, ability to manage emotions, self-motivation, empathy, and ability to handle relationships • Peter Salovey and David Pizarro • Argue that emotional intelligence is just as important as the kind of intelligence measured in IQ tests

  41. How does creativity differ from other forms of cognition, and how has it been measured? • Creativity is the ability to produce original, appropriate, and valuable ideas and/or solutions to problems • There is a weak to moderate correlation between creativity and IQ • J. P. Guilford suggests that creativity involves divergent thinking • The ability to produce multiple ideas or solutions to a problem for which there is no agreed-on solution

  42. How does creativity differ from other forms of cognition, and how has it been measured? • Creative people share several characteristics that distinguish them from less creative people, including • Expertise in a specific area built up over years of study and practice • Openness to new experiences and ideas • Inherent curiosity • Independent thinking