Unit 5: Cognitive Psychology

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69 Terms
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smallest unit of sound
smallest units of meaning (ex. "readers" has 3)
language acquisition device
Chomsky's concept of an innate mechanism in the brain that allows children to acquire language naturally
Broca's area
controls language expression from an area of the frontal lobe that directs the muscle movements involved in speech.
Wernicke's area
controls language comprehension in left temporal lobe
divergent thinking
expands the number of possible problem solutions
convergent thinking
narrows the available problem solutions to determine the single best solution
Sternberg's 5 components of creativity
expertise, imaginative thinking skills, venturesome personality, intrinsic motivation, creative environment
a mental grouping of similar things
a mental image or best example of a category (ex. typical four-legged chair)
very specific, step-by-step procedures for solving certain types of problems
mental shortcuts
a sudden realization of a problem's solution
representativeness heuristic
judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to match prototypes (ex. a person who wears a suit and a briefcase must be a lawyer)
availability heuristic
estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory and how vivid it is (ex. shark attacks seem more likely than heart disease)
anchoring bias
a tendency to fixate on initial information
confirmation bias
a tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore contradictory evidence
hindsight bias
I knew it all along
umbrella term for mental sets and functional fixedness
mental sets
problem solving strategies that have worked in the past
functional fixedness
the tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions
the way an issue is posed can affect decisions (ex. comparing medicine that has 10% death rate vs 90% survival rate)
mental age/chronological age x 100
emotional intelligence
the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions
general intelligence underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore measured by every task on an intelligence test
8 types of intelligences that are independent (Linguistic, Logical/Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Naturalist)
creative, analytical, and practical intelligences (CAP)
A critic of Spearman; analyzed his subjects NOT on a single scale of general intelligence, but on seven clusters of primary mental abilities
defining uniform testing procedures and meaningful scores by comparison with the performance of a pretested group
Flynn Effect
The rise in average IQ scores that has occurred over the decades (probably due to more access to education and nutrition)
the processing of information into the memory system
the process of retaining encoded information over time
the process of getting information out of memory storage
sensory memory
preserves brief sensory impressions
working memory
preserves recently perceived events for less than a minute without rehearsal
long-term memory
unlimited storage information to be maintained for long periods
automatic encoding
unconscious (ex. remembering what you ate yesterday)
effortful encoding
needs rehearsal or conscious repetition
forgetting curve
implicit memory
retention of learned skills or classically conditioned associations independent of conscious recollection
procedural memory
a type of implicit memory that involves motor skills and behavioral habits
conditioned memory
a type of implicit memory formed from classical conditioning
episodic memory
a type of explicit memory based on experienced events
semantic memory
a type of explicit memory consisting of knowledge and concepts
Sins of memory
encoding failure, storage failure, and retrieval failure
inattention to details leads to encoding failure
source amnesia
faulty memory for how, when, or where information was learned or imagined
memory error in which unused memories fade with the passage of time
a failure to retrieve information that is available in memory even though you are trying to produce it
proactive and retroactive interference
PO (old memories interfere), RN (new memories interfere)
effects of misinformation from external sources that leads to the creation of false memories
memory error in which you confuse the source of your information
the continual recurrence of unwanted memories
anterograde amnesia
an inability to form new memories
retrograde amnesia
an inability to retrieve information from one's past
the activation, often unconsciously, of particular associations in memory (ex. SO__P)
mood-congruent memory
the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one's current good or bad mood
state-dependent memory
recall memories that correspond with the same physiological or psychological state of mind (ex. sleepy, drunk, awake, depressed)
loss of ability to understand or express speech due to damage to Wernicke’s or Broca’s area
retrospective memory
remembering past events/info
prospective memory
remembering to perform actions in the future
Atkinson-Shiffrin model
3 stages of memory: sensory, working, long-term

Whorf’s linguistic relativism

language influence the way we think about reality


children learn language based on behaviorist reinforcement principles by associating words with meanings


language acquisition is governed by universal, underlying grammatical rules (everyone is born with innate language acquisition device)


transient error in linguistic development in which the child attempts to make language more regular than it actually is, apply a rule that shouldn’t be applied (ex. breaked)

selective attention

focus on particular input for further processing while simultaneously suppressing irrelevant or distracting information