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Chapter 8


language and thought
Mandee Urlacher
Mind Map by Mandee Urlacher, updated more than 1 year ago
Mandee Urlacher
Created by Mandee Urlacher over 6 years ago

Resource summary

Chapter 8
  1. The area of Cognition or mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge, has been studied since the first psychologists studied consciousness. Now we don't use introspection, which was unreliable, but today cognitive psychologists study processes such as memory, language, problem solving and decision.
    1. Symbols of language:
      1. 1. Language is symbolic. Sounds/written words represent objects, events, and concepts.
        1. 2. Language is semantic. It has shared meaning.
          1. 3. Language is generative. We can generate an endless number of messages with a limited number symbols.
            1. 4. Language is structured. Sentences can only be ordered in a limited number of ways to make sense. Eg: "the man walked the dog. Never "dog the walk man the."
      2. Structure of Language:
        1. Phonemes: smalles units of speech that can be distinguished perceptually. English has about 40, other languages have more.
          1. Morphemes: smalles units of meaning in a language. These include root words, suffixes and prefixes.
            1. Semantics: meaning of words. Includes it's denotation (dictionary definitions) and its connotation (emotional overtone and implications)
              1. Syntax: rules that state how words can be arranged into sentences. (grammar)
        2. Development of human language:
          1. At 3 months infants make all the sounds in any language but can no longer do this from 4-12 months (reflexive communication, coos, laughs or cries). There is an optimal period in a child's life when they learn certain parts of language. By 8 months they recognize certain words (babbling, consonant vowel combination). 12-18 months they use one word sentences.
            1. Receptive vocabulary: larger than productive vocabulary. Understand more than they speak.
              1. Fast mapping: refers to learning a word after only hearing it once.
                1. Over extension: child incorrectly uses a word to refer to a wider set of objects than they mean. (doggie when referring to all small animals)
                  1. Underextension: child incorrectly uses a word to refer to a narrower set of objects or actions. (doggie is only the family dog and not other dogs also)
                    1. Telegraphic speech: two word sentence leaving out less important words. Then children progress to more syllable and three word sentences.
                      1. Over regularizations: When children are learning to use grammar of the language, they may use a regular verb, for example where an irregular verb is used.
                        1. Metalinguistic: ability to reflect on the use of language. At this point they like riddles, puns, irony and sarcasm.
                      2. Bilingualism: refers to learning 2 languages. There are cognitive advantages though processing speed can be slower. Results in higher cognitive flexibility, reasoning, attention and metalinguistic awareness.
                        1. Acculturation: degree to which a person is socially and psychologically integrated into a new culture. Greater acculturation results in more rapid learning of the new language. (cognitive but social as well)
                        2. Behaviourist theories: B.F Skinner- children learnt through imitation, reinforcement and conditioning. If a child is reinforced, they say it again and if not they don't.
                          1. Nativist theories: The inborn tendency to develop language. Noam Chomsky- it is impossible for children to hear every possible sentence and be reinforced for it to imitate. Children learn the rules of language. Brown & Hanlon- parents respond to their child's meaning and don't correct poor grammar.
                            1. Language acquisition device: process that facilitates the learning of language. (biologically equipped)
                              1. Interactionist theories: combine biology and experience. We are biologically equipped to learn language and language acquisition involves learning of rules. Social exchanges with parents and others. Cognitive and social communication and emergent interactionist theories.
                                1. Linguistic relativity hypothesis: language determines the nature of thought. Different languages lead people to view the world differently. (asian cultures have many words for rice) Language affects how people think about motion, time and shapes.
                            2. Problem solving: refers to active efforts to discover what must be done to achieve a goal that is not readily attainable.
                              1. Irrelevant information: people may pay too much attention to information that does not save the problem. To solve a problem effectively, a person needs to find out what information is relevant and what is not.
                                1. Functional Fixedness: Comes from Gestalt psychology and refers to thinking of something only in terms of its common use.
                                2. Mental set: continuing to use a problem solving strategy that worked in the past when it is not the best solution. Being in a rut in your thinking.
                                  1. Unnecessary contraints: constraints are the limits. If you put unnecessary limits on yourself, it will be harder to solve the problem.
                                3. Problem solving heuristics:
                                  1. 1. Forming subgoals: making intermediate steps. Tower of Hanoi: make a sub goal to get the purple ring on the stem, then to get the green one on top.
                                    1. 2. Working backwards: Start at the goal and work backwards.
                                      1. 3. Searching for analogies: look for a way you have solved a problem in the past that would work in this case. People are often unable to see that two problems are the same until they are told and then they do well.
                                        1. 4. Changing the representation of the problem: can be represented in many ways including words, numbers or drawings. A person could use a list, table, equation, graph, hierarchal diagram, or flow chart.
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