affect heuristic

mental shortcut in which a person makes a decision based on emotions rather than a reasoned evaluation


step-by-step approach to problem-solving that is guided by logic

availability heuristic

mental shortcut relying on the most easily available information to make a decision rather than making use of all available information


first stage in language acquisition, beginning at around six months, when children repeatedly utter one-syllable sounds

bottom-up processing

how the brain uses pieces of raw sensory data to create a perception

Broca's area

aids in speech production, located in the left frontal lobe, near the area of the brain that governs movement


mental processes that include perceiving, knowing, remembering, communicating, and deciding


mental classification of ideas, objects, or events that share common characteristics

deductive reasoning

reasoning that begins with an assumption or hypothesis, which is then tested against possible evidence

fast thinking

effortless thinking that makes use of instinct, intuition, schema, and heuristics to reach rapid conclusions

functional fixedness

inability to recognize that an object can be used in ways for which it was not designed


mental shortcut that simplifies decisions by replacing a difficult question with an easier one. Heuristics are hardwired in a human brain (innate).

inductive reasoning

reasoning that begins with observations and ends with a generalization or hypothesis that fits the observations


flash of insight based on unconscious information processing

linguistic relativity

theory that language determines the nature of thought


smallest unit of meaning in language. Words, prefixes, and suffixes can be morphemes.


the ability to speak more than one language


smallest unit of speech that can be distinguished and named


mental activity people undertake to reach a goal

representative heuristic

mental shortcut that makes assumptions about individual persons or things based on mental prototypes


framework for organizing or making sense of information based on experiences

slow thinking

careful, analytical reasoning used to make complex decisions


system of rules used by a language specifying how words may be arranged in sentences

telegraphic speech

developmental step in language formation in which children omit small words such as articles and prepositions from sentences

top-down processing

constructing knowledge from prior knowledge or experience

universal grammar

unconscious and innate understanding of whether a sentence has been correctly formed

Wernicke's area

brain region involved in speech comprehension, located in the left temporal lobe, near the part of the brain that governs hearing