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Psychology_ch9 - Ch 9 Thinking Language and Intelligence...

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Ch 9 – Thinking, Language, and Intelligence Cognition – mental activities associated with thinking, knowing remembering, and communicating. Concepts – mental groupings of similar objects, events, and people Concept “Dog” includes properties that all dogs have (furry, medium size, barking animal) Individual dogs vary (size, coat color) Concept lets us distinguish it from other animals (cats, cows) Provides a way of grouping so that new encounters aren’t surprising (u can relate it to something you’ve seen before) Through differing experiences, we modify our concepts Ex: College professor. Our concept before we went to college is diff. from now. Organized in hierarchies – most specific category at bottom, most general at top Animals > Mammals > Dogs > Working animals > Hounds > Beagle Concepts are fuzzy . They overlap or are poorly defined. (Mice vs. rats) Prototype = mental image or best example of a category. Won’t have all characteristics Ex: Bird - first thing you think of is a sparrow/mockingbird, not a penguin Solving Problems – Heuristics Brains constantly processing lots of info in very little time Cognitive system is frugal -> uses mental shortcuts We form impressions, make judgments with little effort. Do this by… Heuristics – simple, efficient thinking strategies Shortcuts are Adaptive – promotes survival “Hey, it’s a snake! I’m going to run!” In some situations, however, haste means we make mistakes. Using and Misusing Heuristics Representativeness Heuristic – judging likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent/match certain prototypes. May lead you to ignore other relevant info. (being too hasty) 1
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A panel of psychologists interviewed a sample of 30 engineers and 70 lawyers and summarized their impressions in thumbnail descriptions. The following description was drawn at random: “Twice divorced, Frank spends most of his free time hanging around the country club. His clubhouse bar conversations often center around his regrets at having tried to follow in his father’s footsteps. The long hours he had spent at academic drudgery would have been better invested in learning how to be less quarrelsome in his relations with other people. Do you think Frank is most likely a lawyer or an engineer? Most would think lawyer b/c engineers don’t quarrel so much and are more quiet. The Availability Heuristic – Estimating likelihood of events based on their availability in memory. If instances come readily to mind (vividness), we think they are more common. If u can think of them easily, u tend to think they are more common. Are couples who adopt b/c of difficulty conceiving more likely to have babies on
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Psychology_ch9 - Ch 9 Thinking Language and Intelligence...

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