5th Edition
Psychology
Stephen F. Davis
Emporia State University
Joseph J. Palladino
University of Southern Indiana
PowerPoint Presentation by
Cynthia K. Shinabarger Reed
Tarrant County College
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Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-1
Chapter 8
5th Edition
Thinking,
Language, and
Intelligence
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-2
Thinking
• Cognitive psychology is a branch of
psychology that examines thinking: how we
know and understand the world, solve problems,
make decisions, combine information from
memory and current experience, use language,
and communicate our thoughts to others.
• Thinking is a mental process involving the
manipulation of information in the form of
images or concepts that is inferred from our
behavior.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-3
Thinking
• Many people report that they visualize
events and objects to answer some types
of questions.
• Visual imagery, the experience of seeing
even though the event or object is not
actually viewed, can activate brain areas
responsible for visual perception, such as
the occipital lobes.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-4
Thinking
• Concepts are mental categories that
share common characteristics.
• We usually identify specific examples as
members of a concept by judging their
degree of similarity to a prototype, or best
example, of the concept.
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8-5
Thinking
• Every day we encounter a variety of minor
problems; occasionally we face major
ones.
• Problems can differ along several
dimensions; for example, some are well
defined or structured, and others are ill
defined or unstructured.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-6
Thinking
• Well-defined problems have three specified
characteristics:
– a clearly specified beginning state (the
starting point),
– a set of clearly specified tools or techniques
for finding the solution (the needed
operations), and
– a clearly specified solution state (the final
product).
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-7
Thinking
• Ill-defined problems have a degree of
uncertainty or “messiness” about the
starting point, needed operations, and final
product.
• Such problems can have numerous
acceptable responses, and the criteria for
judging the responses are not necessarily
simple and straightforward.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-8
Thinking
• One strategy you could use to solve some
problems guarantees a correct solution in
time (provided that a solution exists).
• An algorithm is a systematic procedure or
specified set of steps for solving a
problem, which may involve evaluating all
possible solutions.
• Algorithms can be time-consuming and do
not work for problems that are not clearly
defined.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-9
Thinking
• Heuristics are educated guesses or rules
of thumb that are used to solve problems.
• Although the use of heuristics does not
guarantee a solution, it is more timeefficient than using algorithms.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-10
Thinking
• Researchers have compared the problem
solving of experts and nonexperts and
have found that experts know more
information to use in solving problems.
• More important, experts know how to
collect and organize information and are
better at recognizing patterns in the
information they gather.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-11
Thinking
• Psychologists have found that expert
problem solvers are adept at breaking
problems down into subgoals, which can be
attacked and solved one at a time.
• These intermediate subgoals can make
problems more manageable and increase
the chance of reaching a solution.
• Information that is not organized effectively
can hinder problem solving.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-12
Thinking
• Rigidity is the tendency to rely on past
experiences to solve problems.
• One form of rigidity, functional fixedness,
is the inability to use familiar objects in
new ways.
• Set effect is a bias toward the use of
certain problem-solving approaches
because of past experience.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-13
Thinking
• A common mistake in testing hypotheses
is to commit to one hypothesis without
adequately testing other possibilities; this
is known as confirmation bias.
• When we use the representativeness
heuristic, we determine whether an event,
an object, or a person resembles (or
represents) a prototype.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-14
Thinking
• The availability heuristic involves judging
the probability of events by the readiness
with which they come to mind.
• We often make decisions by comparing
the information we have obtained to some
standard.
• Your standards are constantly changing,
and these changes can affect your
judgments.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-15
Thinking
• When we make
decisions, we are
also influenced by
whether our
attention is drawn to
positive or negative
outcomes;
psychologists refer
to this presentation
of an issue as
framing.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-16
Thinking
• Creativity is the ability to produce work
that is both novel and appropriate.
• There is no absolute standard for
creativity.
• Intelligence tests were not designed to
measure creativity, so it is not surprising
that the correlation between measures of
creativity and intelligence is weak to
moderate.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-17
Thinking
• Creativity depends on divergent thinking,
rather than the convergent thinking
assessed in tests of intelligence.
• When all lines of thought converge on one
correct answer, we have an example of
convergent thinking.
• By contrast, divergent thinking takes our
thinking in different directions in search of
multiple answers to a question.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-18
Thinking
• Creativity typically involves seeing
nontypical, yet plausible, ways of
associating items or seeing aspects of an
item that are real and useful, but not usually
the primary focus of our attention.
• Creative people are not afraid of hard work;
they give it their undivided attention and
persevere in the face of obstacles.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-19
Thinking
• Another mark of a creative person is a
willingness to take risks and expose oneself
to the potential for failure.
• What’s more, creative people tolerate
ambiguity, complexity, or a lack of
symmetry.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-20
Thinking
• Creativity often emerges when we
rearrange what is known in new and
unusual ways that can yield creative ideas,
goods, and services.
• A task-focusing motivator energizes a
person to work and keeps the person’s
attention on the task.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-21
Thinking
• By contrast, a goal-focusing motivator
leads a person to focus attention on
rewards such as money to the detriment of
the task.
• Creativity often flourishes with the right
mix of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-22
Thinking
• The business community is interested in
enhancing creativity to develop and market
products and services.
• There is no magic in enhancing creativity; it takes
the right attitude and technology in a work climate
that is receptive to creative thinking and new
ideas.
• Among the other important organizational
influences on creativity is encouragement of risk
taking, generating ideas, and sharing ideas.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-23
Thinking
• Adults are expected to be serious, yet
playfulness and humor can help develop
flexible thinking.
• Injecting humor and playfulness into the
work situation can stimulate a creative mind
set, including the use of games and puzzles
designed to enhance creativity.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-24
Thinking
• Quite often people fail to develop creative
ideas because they do not believe they can
be creative.
• The first step in developing one’s creativity
is to acknowledge and confront these
negative thoughts and replace them with
positive thoughts.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-25
Thinking
• Creativity consultants aim to inject change
into the lives of employees.
• They encourage employees to break habits
by taking a different route to work, listening
to a different radio station, or reading
different magazines.
• These minor changes help employees
break out of a rut, expose them to new
ideas, and get them thinking rather than
operating on automatic pilot.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-26
Language
• Between birth and the beginning of formal
schooling, children learn to speak and
understand language.
• Speech is what people actually say;
language is the understanding of the rules
of what they say.
• Acquiring any of the approximately 4,000
languages is a remarkable accomplishment
because there is so much to learn.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-27
Language
• Phonemes are unique sounds that can be
joined to create words.
• Phonemes are the building blocks of
language.
• A morpheme is the smallest unit of
language that has meaning.
• When we learn to organize words into
phrases and sentences, we are acquiring
what is called syntax.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-28
Language
• No matter what language their parents
speak (and even if the parents are deaf),
babies make the same sounds at about the
same time.
• At about 2 months of age, an infant begins
cooing.
• At about 6 months of age, infants begin
babbling, making one-syllable speech-like
sounds that usually contain both vowels
and consonants but have no meaning.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-29
Language
• Toddlers who hear English at home will
utter their first word that conveys meaning
at about 1 year.
• Vocabulary development continues at a
rapid pace during the preschool years.
• Psychologists are especially interested in
three characteristics of the infant’s
language.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-30
Language
• First, young children often use telegraphic
speech—they leave words out of
sentences, as in a telegraph message.
• Second, children seem to know how to
string words together to convey the
intended meaning in the correct sequence
for their language.
• Third, children often overgeneralize
grammatical rules, so the plural of mouse
should be mouses!
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-31
Language
• According to behaviorists, language is
learned like other behaviors: through
imitation, association, and reinforcement.
• According to the nativist theory of
language, children are innately
predisposed to acquire language.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-32
Language
• The major advocate of this position, Noam
Chomsky, has called this innate ability our
language acquisition device (LAD).
• Most psychologists favor a combination of
learning and nativist theories.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-33
Language
• When we think of a language, we often think of
an oral-auditory one—that is, one that is heavily
dependent on audition.
• Not all languages fit this category, however.
• A prominent example is American Sign
Language (ASL) or Ameslan, a manual-visual
language developed within the American deaf
community that is distinct from oral-auditory
languages.
• ASL is not a signed version of English; it is
unique, separate, and distinct from English, with
its own grammar and syntax.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-34
Language
• People who use ASL
communicate rapidly
via thousands of
manual signs and
gestures.
• Words are assembled
from hand shapes,
hand motions, and the
positions of the hands
in front of the body.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-35
Language
• The linguistic
relativity hypothesis
suggests that
syntax (word order)
and vocabulary can
mold thinking.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-36
Language
• There are many current examples of the
use of language to influence and control
thinking.
• The use of language by business,
educational, and governmental
organizations can mislead or control
perception and thinking.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-37
Language
• The term doublespeak describes language
that is purposely designed to make the
bad seem good, to turn a negative into a
positive, or to avoid or shift responsibility.
• One form of doublespeak is the
euphemism, an acceptable or inoffensive
word or phrase used in place of an
unacceptable or offensive one.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-38
Language
• The word he may not be intended to convey
whether the person is a man or a woman, but
most people assume the speaker meant that the
person was a man.
• The words he, his, and man refer to men, but
they are often also used to encompass both men
and women.
• These examples demonstrate how the words we
use can guide our thinking, perhaps in ways we
had not intended or recognized.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-39
Intelligence
• A psychological test is an objective
measure of a sample of behavior that is
collected according to well-established
procedures.
• They are composed of observations made
on a small, but carefully chosen sample of
a person’s behavior.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-40
Intelligence
• Such tests are used for a range of
purposes, including measuring differences
among people in characteristics such as
intelligence and personality.
• The primary purpose of one of the first
psychological tests was to identify children
with below-average intellectual ability so
that they could be given schooling
designed to improve that ability.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-41
Intelligence
• How a person defines intelligence
depends on whom we ask, and the
answers differ across time and place.
• Thus, what behaviors are perceived as
examples of intelligent behavior is
influenced in part by culture.
• The Japanese place greater emphasis on
the process of thinking than people in the
United States.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-42
Intelligence
• In Africa, conceptions of intelligence focus on
skills that facilitate and maintain harmonious
group relations.
• The definition of intelligence used in Western
cultures, especially the United States, does not
necessarily match definitions used in other parts
of the world.
• We can define intelligence as the overall ability
to excel at a variety of tasks, especially those
related to success in schoolwork.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-43
Intelligence
• We can trace the study of differences in
intelligence to an Englishman, Sir Francis
Galton.
• Galton believed that heredity was
responsible for human differences in
intelligence and ability.
• Galton contended that eminence and
creativity run in families because they are
inherited characteristics; he dismissed the
potential influence of environmental factors.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-44
Intelligence
• Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon developed an
intelligence test to evaluate French
schoolchildren.
• They proposed the concept of mental age which
compared a child's performance with the
average performance of children at a particular
age.
• The intelligence quotient (IQ) is the ratio of
mental age divided by chronological age and
multiplied by 100.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-45
Intelligence
• David Wechsler developed an intelligence test
for adults.
• Scores on this test are calculated by comparing
a person’s score with scores obtained by people
of a range of ages rather than a single age.
• The current version of this test, known as the
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS-III),
is used to assess people between the ages of 16
and 74.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-46
Intelligence
• Wechsler’s scales have also been adapted
to assess intelligence at earlier ages.
• The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale and
the Wechsler intelligence tests are
individual tests (one person is tested at a
time) that must be administered by a
qualified examiner.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-47
Intelligence
• The three characteristics of a good
psychological test are reliability, validity, and
standardization.
• Reliability is the degree to which repeated
administrations of a psychological test yield
consistent scores.
• Validity refers to a test's ability to measure
what it was designed to measure.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-48
Intelligence
• Standardization refers to the development
of procedures for administering
psychological tests and the collection of
norms that provide a frame of reference for
interpreting test scores.
• Norms are the distribution of scores of a
large sample of people who have previously
taken a test.
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8-49
Intelligence
• Intelligence test
scores are distributed
in the shape of a bell
curve.
• The majority of the
scores are clustered
around the middle,
with fewer scores
found at either
extreme.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-50
Intelligence
• Intelligence test scores below 70 or above
130 occur in less than 5% of the
population; people with such statistically
rare scores are designated as exceptional.
• Those with scores below 70 may be
diagnosed as mentally retarded if they
also exhibit significant deficits in everyday
adaptive behaviors, such as self-care,
social skills, or communication.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-51
Intelligence
• Public Law 94-142 (Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act, IDEA), includes provisions for
educating all children with handicaps.
• Standard intelligence tests such as the WISC-III
are frequently used in the evaluation of children
who are perceived as exceptional.
• Exceptional children often require special
attention and services, but there is no standard
approach to dealing with their needs.
• People with IQ scores of about 140 and above
may be identified as gifted.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-52
Intelligence
• Savant syndrome occurs in people who are
severely handicapped in overall intelligence yet
demonstrate exceptional ability in a specific area
such as art, calculation, memory, or music.
• Most savants are male; the syndrome occurs in
approximately one in 2,000 people with brain
damage or mental retardation and about 1 in 10
people with autism.
• Accumulating evidence suggests that people with
savant syndrome have suffered damage to the left
hemisphere, which apparently results in some
form of compensation by the right hemisphere.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-53
Intelligence
• Charles Spearman believed that there are
two types of intelligence, one called g for
general intelligence and the other,
representing a number of specific abilities,
called s.
• Robert Sternberg proposed the triarchic
theory of intelligence.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-54
Intelligence
•
This model is comprised of:
a) analytical intelligence, or the ability to break
down a problem or situation into its
components (the type of intelligence
assessed by most current intelligence tests);
b) creative intelligence, or the ability to cope
with novelty and to solve problems in new
and unusual ways; and
c) practical intelligence, which is also known as
common sense or “street smarts.”
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-55
Intelligence
• The third type of intelligence is one that
the public understands and values, yet it is
missing in standard intelligence tests.
• The triarchic theory on intelligence
emphasizes the processes of intelligence.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-56
Intelligence
• To account for the broad range of achievements in
modern society, Howard Gardner proposes the
existence of “a number of relatively autonomous
intellectual capacities or potentials” he calls
multiple intelligences.
• According to Gardner, there is more to intelligence
than the verbal and mathematical abilities
measured by current intelligence tests.
• Each person may have different strengths and
weaknesses and thus may manifest intelligence in
various ways.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-57
Intelligence
• The high reliability coefficients that characterize
most intelligence tests should not lead to the
incorrect conclusion that assessments based on
such tests are always accurate (valid).
• The eugenics movement proposed that the
intelligence of an entire nation could be
increased if only the more intelligent citizens had
children.
• Intelligence test scores have been used to
prevent some European immigrants from
entering the United States.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-58
Intelligence
• The heritability of
intelligence is an
estimate of the
influence of heredity
in accounting for
differences among
people.
• The heritability of
intelligence tends to
increase with age.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-59
Intelligence
• Yet, even clearly inherited conditions, such
as PKU, can be modified by altering a
person's environment.
• Although PKU has a heritability of 100%, it
can be modified by changing the
environment (in this case, diet).
• In short, heredity is not necessarily
destiny.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-60
Intelligence
• Correlations between the IQ scores of identical
twins suggest that intelligence is strongly
influenced by heredity.
• When twins are raised in separate
environments, the correlation between their
intelligence scores is still high.
• The intelligence scores of adopted children tend
to correlate more highly with those of their
biological parents than with those of their
adoptive parents.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-61
Intelligence
• The closer the family
relationship, the
higher the correlation
between the
intelligence scores of
family members.
• Studies of adopted
children suggest that
environmental factors
also have an effect on
intelligence.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-62
Intelligence
• In the 1930s, Howard Skeels decided that
tender, loving care, and stimulation could be
beneficial for two children in an Iowa
orphanage.
• Skeels placed these quiet, slow,
unresponsive sisters in a home for mentally
retarded adolescents.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-63
Intelligence
• On his return several months later, he was
surprised to find that the sisters’ intelligence
test scores had increased and that they
appeared alert and active.
• The attention and stimulation provided by
the mentally retarded adolescents and the
staff of the institution had made a
difference.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-64
Intelligence
• One purpose of preschool programs such
as Head Start is to provide children with
educational skills, social skills, and health
care before they begin their formal
schooling.
• Head Start is aimed at children around 4
years of age, especially those in lowincome and minority populations.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-65
Intelligence
• Early evaluations of Head Start were not
encouraging.
• Efforts to influence intellectual ability
cannot overcome all other environmental
influences.
• Despite its shortcomings, Head Start has
widespread public and political support.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-66
Intelligence
• Although individual differences in
intelligence are due in part to heredity, the
existence of group differences in IQ scores
does not necessarily suggest that there
are innate differences in intelligence
among groups.
• Critics of intelligence tests argue that we
must take a closer look at the tests
themselves.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-67
Intelligence
• Group differences in test scores might
reflect certain characteristics of the tests
themselves.
• Intelligence tests reflect white, middleclass values and therefore are innately
biased against members of other cultural
groups.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-68
Intelligence
• Claude Steele of Stanford University has
proposed that students’ attitudes and
approach to standardized tests can also
affect their performance.
• The debate over differences in test scores
is not merely an intellectual exercise; it
has scientific, political, and social
implications.
Copyright © Prentice Hall 2007
8-69
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