Language - Introduction to Psychology Lecture 8: Language &...

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Introduction to Psychology Lecture 8: Language & Thought
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The Cognitive Revolution 19th Century focus on the mind – Introspection Behaviorist focus on overt responses – arguments regarding incomplete picture of human functioning Empirical study of cognition – 1956 conference Simon and Newell – problem solving Chomsky – new model of language Miller –memory When psychology first emerged as an independent science, the focus was on the mind. Yet introspective methods yielded unreliable results. The behaviorist focus on overt responses was empirically more sound, yet theorists argued that it provided an incomplete picture of human functioning. Renegade theorists continued to study cognition, the mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge. 3 major advances in this empirical study were reported at a scientific conference in 1956, a watershed in the history of psychology. Simon and Newell described the first computer program simulating human problem solving, Noam Chomsky outlined a new model that changed the study of language, and George Miller presented his famous paper arguing for the 7 plus or minus two capacity of STM. Cognitive science has since grown into a robust, interdisciplinary field focusing on language, problem solving, decision-making, and reasoning .
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Language: Turning Thoughts into Words • Properties of Language Symbolic Semantic Generative Structured Language is defined as consisting of symbols that convey meaning, plus rules for combining those symbols, that can be used to generate an infinite variety of messages. Language is symbolic, that is, people use spoken sounds and written words to represent objects, actions, events, and ideas. It is semantic, or meaningful. It is generative, that is, a limited number of symbols can be combined in an infinite number of ways to generate novel messages. It is structured; there are rules that govern arrangement of words into phrases and sentences.
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Language Development: Milestones • Video: Discovering Psychology: Language Development # • Initial vocalizations similar across languages – Crying, cooing, babbling • 6 months – babbling sounds begin to resemble surrounding language • 1 year – first word – similar cross-culturally – words for parents – receptive vs. expressive language Infant vocalizations are initially similar across languages, involving all phonemes. Infants cry, coo, and make repetitive babbling vocalizations of all phonemes. By the age of 6 months, the babbling sounds being to resemble those of the infants’ surrounding language. By the time an infant is 12 months of age, the first word is typically spoken, usually dada, mama, papa, etc. This is similar across cultures.
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This note was uploaded on 08/23/2009 for the course PSC PSC 1 taught by Professor Elizabeth during the Winter '09 term at UC Davis.

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Language - Introduction to Psychology Lecture 8: Language &...

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