Thinking and Language

Thinking and Language

Thinking and Language Unit VII Modules 34-36 19FY Link Chain Puzzle You are given four separate pieces of chain that are each three links in length. It costs 2 to open a link and

3 to close a link. All links are closed at the beginning of the problem. Your goal is to join all 12 links of chain into a single circle at a cost of no more than 15. Luchins Water Jug Puzzle Can you make 4 equilateral triangles with the six pencils provided? Thinking and concepts

We as humans fear the wrong things We allow the days hot or cold weather to color our judgments of global climate change We tend to be overconfident in our judgments and to persevere in clinging to discredited beliefs * Thinking and concepts Cognition- all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and

communicating Concepts- a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people You may have a concept for chairs- they are all things used for sitting Concepts simplify our thinking * Thinking and concepts Without concepts, we would need a different name for every person, event, object, and idea

We could not just simply say, They are angry. There would be no concept for angry We would have to describe expressions, intensities, and words instead of using the concept of angry Concepts such as anger give us information with little cognitive effort * Create a chart for the concepts of animals and plants.

Thinking and concepts We often form our concepts by developing prototypes A mental image or best example of a category Matching new items to a prototype provides a quick and easy method for sorting items into categories People more quickly agree that a robin is a bird than that a penguin is a bird

Robins more closely match our prototype of a concept * What would be your prototype for the following things: Car Hero Villain Color Woman

Man Thinking and concepts The more something matches our prototype of a concept the more readily we recognize it as an example of the concept Move away from our prototypes, and category boundaries may blur Is a tomato a fruit? Is a 17 year old female a girl or a woman?

Is a whale a fish or a mammal? Concepts speed and guide our thinking, but they dont always make us wise * Creativity Creativity- the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas Studies suggest that a certain level of aptitude- a score above 120 on a standard

intelligence test- support creativity Intelligence matters in creativity but there is more to creativity than what intelligence tests reveal * Creativity There are two different kinds of thinking that engage different parts of the brain Intelligence tests that usually demand a single correct answer, require convergent thinking

Narrows the available problem solutions to determine the single best solution Injury to the left parietal lobe damages our ability to use convergent thinking * Creativity Creativity tests require divergent thinking Expands the number of possible problem solutions How many uses can you think of for a brick?

Injury to certain areas of the frontal lobes can leave reading, writing, and arithmetic skills intact but destroy imagination * Creativity There is no Creativity Quotient that corresponds to an Intelligence Quotient score Robert Sternberg has identified five components of creativity

Expertise, imaginative thinking skills, a venturesome personality, intrinsic motivation, and a creative environment * Creativity Expertise- a well developed base of knowledge Provides the ideas, images, and phrases we use as mental building blocks Imaginative thinking skills- provides the ability

to see things in novel ways, to recognize patterns, and to make connections A venturesome personality- seeks new experiences, tolerates ambiguity and risk, and perseveres in overcoming obstacles * Creativity Intrinsic motivation- being driven more by interest, satisfaction, and challenge than by external pressures

A creative environment- sparks, supports, and refines creative ideas * Creativity For those seeking to boost the creative process try these: Develop your expertise, allow time for incubation, set aside time for the mind to roam freely, and experience other cultures and ways of thinking *

Problem solving: Strategies and obstacles Humans have a problem solving ability when facing a dilemma Some problems we solve through trial and error We can also use algorithms A methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem Contrasts with the usually speedier but also more error-prone heuristics *

Problem solving: Strategies and obstacles Heuristics- a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently Algorithms are a step by step process and are tiring and mentally draining To find a word using the 10 letters in SPLOYOCHYG, you could try each letter in each of the 10 positions- 907,200 ways in all With heuristics you might reduce the number of options by grouping letters that often appear together and excluding

rare letter combinations By using heuristics and then applying trial and error, you may hit on the answer What is the word? * Problem solving: Strategies and obstacles Sometimes no problem solving strategy seems to be at work at all and we arrive at a solution to a problem with insight A sudden realization of a problems solution;

contrasts with strategy based solutions Wolfgang Kohler conducted studies to see if humans were the only ones to experience insight * Problem solving: Strategies and obstacles Kohlers experiments on insight Conducted his experiments with Sultan, the chimp He would place a piece of fruit and a long stick outside sultans

cage Inside the cage he placed a short stick which Sultan grabbed, using it to try to reach the fruit After several failed attempts, he dropped the stick and seemed to survey the situation Then suddenly Sultan jumped up and seized the short stick again He used it to pull in the longer stick which he then used to reach the fruit The chimps even started to store a tool they could use the next day to retrieve the food *

Problem solving: Strategies and obstacles Insight strikes with no prior sense of getting warmer or feeling close to a solution We experience an Aha moment * Problem solving: Strategies and obstacles Some cognitive tendencies may lead us astray when trying to find a solution to a problem We more eagerly seek out and favor evidence

verifying our ideas than evidence refuting them Confirmation bias- a tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence * Problem solving: Strategies and obstacles Once people form a belief they prefer belief confirming information Once we incorrectly represent a problem, its

hard to restructure how we approach it If the matchstick(pencil) problem was difficult for you, you may be experiencing fixation An inability to see a problem from a fresh perspective * Problem solving: Strategies and obstacles A prime example of fixation is mental set A tendency to approach a problem in one particular way, often a way that has been successful in the

past Often times solutions that worked in the past do work in the future If they do not work we make excuses of why it did not work This is an example of confirmation bias * Problem solving: Strategies and obstacles Given the sequence O-T-T-F-?-?-? What are

the final three letters? The answer is F-S-S Given the sequence J-F-M-A-?-?-? What are the next three letters? The answer is M-J-J Why was the second one easier? * Forming Good and Bad decisions and judgments We seldom take the time to reason systematically

when making decisions throughout the day We follow our intuition An effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or thought, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning When we need to act quickly, the mental shortcuts we call heuristics enable snap judgments Thanks to our minds automatic information processing, intuitive judgments are instantaneous and usually effective *

Forming Good and Bad decisions and judgments Representativeness and availability heuristics can often lead the smartest people into dumb decisions Representativeness heuristic- judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes; may lead us to ignore relevant information They influence many of our daily decisions

To judge the likelihood of something, we intuitively compare it with our mental representation of the category If the two match, that fact usually overrides other considerations of statistics or logic * Forming Good and Bad decisions and judgments Availability heuristic- estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory

If instances come readily to mind, we presume such events are common Casinos entice us to gamble by signaling even small wins with bells and lights while keeping big losses soundlessly invisible * Forming Good and Bad decisions and judgments Availability heuristics can lead us astray when

judging other people Anything that makes information pop into mind can make it seem commonplace If someone from a particular ethnic or religious group commits a terrorist act, our readily available memory of the dramatic event may shape our impressions of the whole group This occurred after 9/11 * Forming Good and Bad decisions and

judgments We often fear the wrong things We fear flying because we often play in our heads some air disaster We fear letting our children walk to school because we play in our heads tapes of abducted and brutalized children Even just passing by a person who sneezes and coughs heightens our perceptions of various health risks We come to fear extremely rare events *

Forming Good and Bad decisions and judgments Sometimes our judgments and decisions go awry because we are more confident that correct People overestimate their performance Overconfidence- the tendency to be more confident than correct- to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgments *

Forming Good and Bad decisions and judgments Anticipating how much we will accomplish, we overestimate our future leisure time Believing we will have more time next month than we do today, we happily accept invitations and assignments, only to discover were just as busy when the day rolls around We take out loans or buy on credit because we believe

we will have more money next year Despite our painful underestimates, we remain overly confident of our next prediction * Forming Good and Bad decisions and judgments Belief perseverance- clinging to ones initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited It often fuels social conflict

To help guard against this, consider the opposite The more we come to appreciate why our beliefs may be true, the more tightly we cling to them * Forming Good and Bad decisions and judgments Framing- the way an issue is posed How an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgments

the surgeon example One tells patients that 10 percent of people die during this surgery The other tells patients that 90 percent will survive The information is the same but the effect is not In surveys, both patients and physicians said the risk seems greater when they hear that 10 percent will die * Forming Good and Bad decisions and

judgments Examples of how intuition can be good, pg. 369 Language Language- our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning Thanks to language, information can move from my mind to yours

Thanks to language, we comprehend much that weve never seen and that our distant ancestors never knew * Language There are three building blocks to language Phonemes- in a language, the smallest distinctive sound unit To say bat, English speakers utter the phonemes b, a, and t Phonemes are not the same as letters Chat has three phonemes, ch, a, and t

There have been 869 different phonemes discovered in human speech around the world No language uses all of them English uses about 40 Consonant phonemes carry more information do vowel phonemes The treth of thes stetement shed be evedent frem thes bref demenstretien * Language

Morphemes- in a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning May be a word or a part of a word Some morphemes are also phonemes- I and the s that indicates plural Most morphemes combine two or more phonemes Bat, gentle, pre in preview, or ed in adapted are all morphemes *

Language Grammar- a system of rules that enables us to communicate with and understand others semantics is the set of rules for deriving meaning from sounds syntax is the set of rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences * Language In English, 40 phonemes can be combined to

form more than 100,000 morphemes, which alone or in combination produce the 616,500 word forms in the Oxford English Dictionary Using those words, we can then created an infinite number of sentences, most of which are original * Language Development You will have learned 60,000 words in your native language during the years between your first

birthday and your high school graduation That averages to 10 a day You will use 150 words for about half of what you say during that time We seldom form sentences in our minds before speaking them, instead we organize them on the fly as we speak * Language Development Infants start without language

By 4 months they can recognize differences in speech sounds They can read lips This marks the beginning of the development of receptive language Their ability to understand what is said to and about them * Language Development At 7 months and beyond, babies grow in their

power to segment spoken sounds into individual words Productive language is their ability to produce words, and it matures after their receptive language They recognize noun-verb differences earlier than they utter sentences with nouns and verbs * Language Development

Before nurture molds babies speech, nature enables a wide range of possible sounds in the babbling stage Babbling stage- beginning at about 4 months, the stage of speech development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to the household language Many of these spontaneously uttered sounds are consonant-vowel pairs formed by simply bunching the tongue in the front of the mouth(da-da) or by opening and closing the lips(ma-ma)

Da-da using is easier to say than ma-ma * Language Development Babbling is not an imitation of adult speech From this early babbling, a listener could not identify an infant as being, French, Korean, or Ethiopian Deaf infants who observe their deaf parents signing begin to babble more with their hands By the time infants are about 10 months old,

their babbling has changed so that a trained ear can identify the household language * Language Development Without exposure to other languages, babies lose their ability to hear and produce sounds and tones found outside their native language By adulthood, those who speak only English cannot discriminate certain sounds in Japanese speech *

Language Development Around their first birthday, most children enter the one word stage The stage in speech development, from about age 1 to 2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words They have already learned that sounds carry meanings, and if repeatedly trained to associate a word with a picture, they will look at the

picture when they hear the word * Language Development They now begin to use sounds, usually only one barely recognizable syllable such as ma or da, to communicate meaning Across the world, babys first words are often nouns that label objects or people At this one word stage, a single inflected word like doggy may equal a sentence *

Language Development At about 18 months, childrens word learning explodes from about a word per week to a word per day By their second birthday, most have entered the two-word stage the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly in two word statements *

Language Development The children will start to utter two word sentences in telegraphic speech Telegraphic speech- early speech stage in which a child speaks like a telegram- go car- mostly nouns and verbs Telegraphic speech follows rules of syntax because the words are in sensible order In English speakers, adjectives will usually be placed before nouns- white house Spanish speakers, the order will be reversed, casa

blanca * Language Development If children get a late start on learning a particular language, such as after receiving a cochlear implant or being adopted by a family in another country, their language development still proceeds through the same sequence, its just at a faster pace By early elementary school, children understand complex sentences and begin to enjoy the humor

conveyed by double meanings: You never starve in the desert because of all the sand-which-is there * Language Development Noam Chomsky argued that all languages while different, do share some basic elements, which he called universal grammar All human languages have nouns, verbs, and adjectives as grammatical building blocks Chomsky believed humans are born with a built in

predisposition to learn grammar rules, which helps explain why preschoolers pick up language so readily and use grammar so well Chomsky believed it happens so naturally that training hardly helps * Language Development Chomksy did not believe we are born with a built in specific language He believed anyone could learn any language

Whatever language we experience as children, whether spoken or signed, we all readily learn its specific grammar and vocabulary No matter what language we learn, we start speaking it mostly in nouns rather than verbs and adjectives * Language Development According to many researchers, childhood seems to represent a critical period for mastering certain

aspects of language before the language learning window closes People who learn a second language as adults usually speak it with the accent of their native language and they have difficulty mastering the new grammar Age 7 is considered to be the time when the language window begins to shut * Language Development

Those who have not been exposed to either a spoken or a signed language gradually lose their ability to master any language at all starting at age 7 * The Brain and Language Aphasia- impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Brocas area or to Wernickes area Aphasia can lead to people being able to

speak but not read, read but not speak, write but not read, read but not write, or read numbers but not letters * The Brain and Language Brocas area- controls language expression- an area of frontal lobe, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech Would struggle to speak words while still being able to sing familiar songs and comprehend speech

Wernickes area- controls language reception- a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe People could speak only meaningless words * Language and thought Benjamin Lee Whorf contended that language determines the way we think Linguistic determinism- Whorfs hypothesis that

language determines the way we think It is believed his hypothesis is too extreme We all think about things for which we have no words It has been found that maybe a person may think differently in different languages * Language and thought For example, English has a rich vocabulary for self-focused emotions such as anger while

Japanese has more words for interpersonal emotions such as sympathy So our words may not determine what we think, but they do influence our thinking * Additional terms to know Artificial intelligence- the intelligence exhibited by machines or software Functional fixedness- When something is thought of only in terms of its functionality, then the person is demonstrating functional

fixedness. This type of thinking is narrow and limited, often inhibiting the problem solving process. Types of concepts: Relational- looks at the connection between objects or ideas and often involves an act of comparison. Example: If someone leaves you a small tip after waiting on their table you may call them a cheapskate Conjunctive- an idea that is explained by a group of traits, for which each participant is required to be present for the idea to be applicable. Example: to be classified as a mother, both the trait of female and parent must be present.

Disjunctive- A concept based on the set of attributes that are not needed in every instance. Example: a car can still be considered a car even without on of the traits of a car being present Additional terms to know General solution- a solution to a differential equation that contains arbitrary, unevaluated constants. Deductive reasoning- happens when a researcher works from the more general information to the more specific. Sometimes this is called the top-down approach because the

researcher starts at the top with a very broad spectrum of information and they work their way down to a specific conclusion. Inductive reasoning- works the opposite way, moving from specific observations to broader generalizations and theories. sometimes called a bottom up approach. The researcher begins with specific observations and measures, begins to then detect patterns and regularities, formulate some tentative hypotheses to explore, and finally ends up developing some general conclusions or theories.

Additional terms to know What determines if a language is an actual language? It contains grammar and syntax Overgeneralization- In linguistics, the application of a grammatical rule in cases where it doesn't apply. For example, a young child may say "foots" instead of "feet,"

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