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Chapter 7 Notes - Chapter 7 Thought Language and...

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Chapter 7: Thought, Language, and Intelligence Basic Functions of Thought o The Circle of Thought Receive information from the world describe elaborate decide plan act The processes making up the circle of thought usually occur very quickly Information-processing system - mechanisms for receiving information, representing it with symbols, and manipulating it Thinking - the manipulation of mental representations Stage 1: information about the world reaches your brain through your senses Stage 2: you perceive and recognize the information Requires attention In this stage, you consciously elaborate information using the short-term and working-memory processes These processes allow you to think about new information in relation to knowledge that has already been stored in your long- term memory Stage 3: decision making Requires attention Can either store the information or take some action o If you decide to take some action, it is this stage where you plan what action to take Stages 4 and 5: carry out action Action usually affects the environment, providing new information that is “fed back” to the system for processing Mental Representations: The Ingredients of Thoughts o Cognitive psychologists found that information can be mentally represented in many ways, including concepts, propositions, schemas, scripts, mental models, images, and cognitive maps o Concepts Concepts - categories of objects, events, or ideas that have common properties Some are visual and concrete, while others are abstract and hard to define Allow you to relate each object or event you encounter to a category that you already know Make it possible for you to think logically Types of Concepts Formal concepts - clearly define objects or events by a set of rules and properties, so that every member of the concepts has all of the concept’s defining parts and nonmembers do not o Often used to study concept learning in the laboratory because members of these concepts can be neatly defined
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Natural concepts - don’t have a fixed set of defining features, but have a set of typical or characteristic features, and members don’t need to have all of them o In most situations, outside the laboratory, people are thinking about natural rather than formal concepts o Prototype - a member of a natural concept that possesses all or most of its characteristic features The more prototypical of a concept something is, the more quickly you can decide whether it is an example of the concept o Propositions Proposition - mental representations that express a relationship between concepts
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