Psychology – Chapter #7 Outline – 10/25/07
CHAPTER #7 – THINKING AND INTELLIGENCE
Thought: Using What We Know
The human mind is an information processor.
The brain actively alters and organizes information
When we take action, we physically manipulate the environment; when we think,
manipulate internal representations of objects, activities, and
The Elements of Cognition
One type of mental representation:
– A mental category that groups
objects, relations, activities, abstractions, or qualities having common properties.
Anger, joy, and sadness are instances of the concept
Concepts simplify and summarize information about the world so that it is
manageable, so that we can make decisions quickly and efficiently.
– An especially representative example of a concept – a representative
or most commonplace example of the concept.
A concept that is most representative is called
We must also represent the relationships of concepts to one another – one way to
accomplish this may be by storing and using
, units of meaning that
are made up of concepts and that express a unitary idea (a unit of meaning that is
made up of concepts and expresses a single idea)
These can express nearly any sort of knowledge or belief – they are linked by
complicated networks of knowledge, associations, beliefs, and expectations.
These networks are called
– an integrated mental
network of knowledge, beliefs, and expectations concerning a particular
topic or aspect of the world
These networks serve as mental models of aspects of the world.
People have schemas about cultures, occupations, animals, geographical
locations, and many other features of the social and natural environment.
– A mental representation that mirrors or resembles the thing it
represents; mental images can occur in many and perhaps all sensory modalities.
We can manipulate them, they occur in a mental “space” of a fixed size, and
small ones contain less detail than larger ones.
Can be sensed in almost all modalities, including auditory, touch, taste, smell,