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Thinking and Language
Transcript of Thinking and Language
6.2 Understand psychological concepts, methods, and theories in analyzing how humans think, learn, feel, and behave. Standards and Citations Symbols A symbol is an object or an act that stands for something else. Symbols are part of our daily lives:
-letters and words
-mental images Concepts When we mentally group similar objects, events, or ideas together, the grouping is called a concept. "Animal" and "mammal" are both concepts. Most people organize concepts in hierarchies, from broad to narrow. For example, "animal" would be higher up than "mammal". Animals Mammals Reptiles Amphibians Concepts are learned through experience. Prototypes A prototype is an example of a concept that best exemplifies that concept. Think of a shoe. What you picture is your prototype for the concept "shoe". A prototype does not have to be an experienced example. It can be an average of all experiences. Algorithms and Heuristics An algorithm is a specific procedure that, when used properly, will always lead to the solution of a problem. Formulas are examples of algorithms, but some are complex, like a systematic search. Algorithms are not always practical. Heuristics are rules of thumb that often help us find the solution to a problem. In other words, they are shortcuts. Heuristics are faster but not as reliable as algorithms. If you are doing a crossword puzzle, algorithms would be better if you are missing one letter, but heuristics would be better if you are missing two. Problem Solving Methods Trial and Error This is similar to a systematic search, except it is less reliable and more haphazard. You don't usually keep track of what you have already tried. Basically, you try one thing until it is proven to be an error. Difference Reduction In this method, we want to reduce the difference between our unsolved problem and our solved problem. This method is not always reliable. It can mislead you to thinking you have achieved your goal, or it can seem like you're taking steps in the wrong direction. Means-End Analysis With this method, we know certain things we do (means) will have certain results (ends). Often, we will break a problem down into parts and try to solve each part individually. This is using means-end analysis. Working Backward This technique is related to means-end analysis, except you start by examining the final goal. This method works best when we know what we want to accomplish but we don't know how to get there. Analogies An analogy is is a similarity between two or more items, events, or situations. A problem that is similar to a previously-solved problem may be solved using the same technique. Insight and Incubation Insight is sudden understanding. Insight experiences are also known as "Aha!" experiences. Psychologist Wolfgang Köhler He pioneered insight studies. Worked with chimps while stranded in the Canary Islands. Demonstrated that much learning is achieved by insight. His findings suggested people and animals play with problems until the answer comes to them. The incubation effect is experienced when we arrive at a solution without consciously working on the problem. Psychologists recommend taking a break from a difficult problem, because they may come back refreshed and with a new point of view or approach. Obstacles to Problem Solving Mental Set The tendency to respond to a new problem with an approach that was successfully used with similar problems. Mental sets may keep you from solving the problem efficiently or at all. Functional Fixedness The tendency to think of an object as being useful only for the function that the object is usually used for. Problem Solving and Creativity Functional fixedness can often be overcome with creativity. Convergent thinking: thought is limited to available facts. Divergent thinking: one associates more freely with the various aspects of a problem. Successful problem solving may require both. The ABCDEs of Problem Solving A: Assessing the Problem Examine the parts and make sure you understand. Often the first assessment is what type of problem it is. B: Brainstorming Approaches Brainstorming is the free, spontaneous production of possible approaches or solutions. The more ideas that are suggested, even wild ones, the more likely a problem is to get solved. C: Choosing an Approach The choice is made on the basis of which approach seems most likely to work. D: Doing the Problem Try out the chosen approach. E: Evaluating the Results Was the problem solved? If not, figure out what went wrong and try again. Deductive Reasoning If your premises are incorrect, then your conclusion will be incorrect, even if your reasoning is sound. With deductive reasoning, the conclusion is true if the premises are true. A premise is an idea or statement that provides the basic information that allows us to draw conclusions. Inductive Reasoning With inductive reasoning, specific facts or cases are used to reach a general conclusion. The conclusion can be wrong even if the reasoning is correct. It is often impossible to prove an inductive reasoning assumption true. Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek to confirm a hypothesis instead of disproving it. Inductive conclusions don't follow logically from premises, but they are accurate often enough that we rely on them in daily life. Psychology and other sciences rely on inductive reasoning. Weighing the Pluses and Minuses Using a balance sheet-- listing reasons for or against a particular choice-- can help us make sure we have considered all available information. A balance sheet can help you see which areas need more information. Shortcuts in Decision Making and Judgements The Representativeness Heuristic The process of making decisions about a sample according to the population that the sample appears to represent. The Availability Heuristic Making decisions based on information that is available in your consciousness. This may cause bias. Example: More people are afraid of flying than of driving even though driving kills more people. The Anchoring Heuristic Making decisions based on certain ideas or standards they hold. Early learning serves as an anchor. Beliefs about politics, religion, and way of life are common anchors. When people form judgements, they start with an initial view, or presumption, which serves as an anchor. The Framing Effect The way that words affect decision making. Advertisers, political groups, and experienced parents all use the framing effect. Overconfidence Reasons Why They are unaware of flimsy supporting evidence. They may be paying attention only to examples that confirm their opinions. People tend to bring about things they believe in. Even if told they are overconfident, they usually don't make use of this info. Language makes it possible to share knowledge. The Basic Elements of Language Phonemes The basic sounds of a language. Examples:
-"d" and "g" in "dog"
-"th" Morphemes The units of meaning in a language. Morphemes are made up of phonemes. Examples
-suffixes Semantics Syntax The way in which words are arranged to make phrases and sentences. Basically, syntax is grammar. The Stages of Language Development Crying, Cooing, and Babbling Not considered true language. Newborn: Cry
Two Months: Cry, Coo
Six Months: Cry, Coo, Babble
Nine-Ten Months: Begin to copy words around them All children from all cultures babble similar sounds, even sounds they've never heard. Semantics is the study of meaning. Semantics involves the relationship between the things depicted in language. Words, Words, Words The start of true language comes after babbling. Eighteen Months: two dozen words
(Reading increases vocabulary!) Overextension: extending the meanings of words to refer to things they don't have words for. Development of Grammar Approaching second birthday: two word sentences [That (is)(a) doggy.] Two words can show an understanding of grammar
("my doggy", not "doggy my".) A two-year-old understands irregulars (am-->was, goose-->geese), but a three- to five-year-old may not. Between two and three years: vocabulary expands to include missing words (articles, conjunctions, possessive and demonstrative adjectives, pronouns, prepositions) This is because they begin learning -ed and -s endings to change words. Overregularization: applying the normal rules to all words, even the words they don't work for. How Do We Learn Language? Hereditary Influences Language Acquisition Device (LAD): the natural tendency to acquire language Environmental Influences Children learn language partly by observing and imitating other people. Bilingualism The earlier a person learns a second language, the more likely the person will become fluent and sound like a native speaker. A century ago, it was believed that bilingual children would be slowed in cognitive and language development because cognitive capacity is limited. Today, most psychologists believe it's good for cognitive development to be bilingual. Learning a second language has been shown to increase a child's expertise in their native language. Rathus, Spencer A. Psychology: Principles in Practice. Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2007. Print.
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