Cognition
Unit 7B
Cognition
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All the mental activities associated with
thinking, knowing, remembering, and
communicating
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Cognitive Psychologists study these activities
Concepts
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Mental groupings of similar objects, events,
ideas, people
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Without concepts, we would need different
words for everything
Concepts formed by
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Hierarchies
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Maps
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Nation
State
County
City
Neighborhood
Street
Definition –
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Shapes
Prototypes
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Mental images
Mental Concept Challenge
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Can you draw what is seen forming a mental
prototype while it described?
Problem solving
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Strategies
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Algorithms
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Heuristics
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Step by step procedures that guarantee a solution
Making judgments
Faster, but error prone
Insight
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Sudden realization of a solution
Eureka Moment
Creativity
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The ability to produce ideas that are both
novel and valuable
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Cannot be measured on an intelligence test
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Convergent thinking – one correct answer
Divergent thinking
5 Components to Creativity
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1. Expertise
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A well developed base of knowledge
Ideas
Phrases
Images
All serve as the building blocks to creativity
5 Components to Creativity
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2. Imaginative thinking skills
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Provides the ability to see things in novel ways
Recognize patterns
Make connections
5 Components to Creativity
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3. A venturesome personality
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Seeks new experiences
Tolerates risk
Exploring new cultures
5 Components to Creativity
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4. Intrinsic motivation
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Driven more by interest, satisfaction and
challenge than by external pressures
Less deadlines for work and more pleasure from
work
5 Components to Creativity
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5. A creative environment
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Sparks, supports and refines creative ideas
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Support contemplation
Obstacles to problem solving
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Confirmation Bias
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We look for information that backs up our ideas
more than info that goes against it
Watson
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“People defend themselves against the threat of new
information relevant to the issue”
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WMD’s in Iraq
Obstacles to problem solving
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Fixation
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The inability to see a problem in a fresh
perspective
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MENTAL SET –
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Approaching a problem in a way that has worked before
What comes next?
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T-E-T-T-F-?-?-?
– J-F-M-A-?-?-?
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Fixation
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Functional Fixedness
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Thinking only in terms of objects usual functions
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Inability to think outside the box to use tools available in
a different way to solve a problem
Making Decisions and Forming
Judgments
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Using Heuristics
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Making quick decisions – mental shortcuts
Instantaneous decisions
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Sometimes bad judgments
Representative heuristics
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Judging the likelihood of things in terms of how
well they fit in particular prototypes
Heuristics
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Availability Heuristics
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Judgments based on how much information is
available
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If it can be thought of quickly, vividly memorable
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Casinos – attract gamblers with bright flashing lights
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Easy to forget that there is a ton of $ being lost
Stereotypes – terrorists
Jaws
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We often overfeel and underthink
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Mother Theresa
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“If I look at the masses, I will not act. If I look at one, I
will”
Feed the Children
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“This is________. For only a dollar a day, you can help”
Overconfidence
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The tendency to overestimate the accuracy of our
knowledge and judgments
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People who are 100% confident are often wrong
about 15% of the time
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How quickly can you turn out a quality paper/project
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Procrastination
Valuable?
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People who are more overconfident live happier lives
Easier time making tough decisions
Belief Perseverance
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Clinging to initial beliefs, even after they have
been proven wrong
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The more we hold our beliefs to be true, the
tighter we hold onto them
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Learning disabilities
“consider the opposite”
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A way to reduce the bias of groups
Intuition
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Effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or
thought
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Stranger looks dangerous, we react to them
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Which is larger – Frankfurt or Bremen
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San Diego or San Antonio
Intuition
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Thinking is always taking place
Intuition is adaptive
Being able to size up a situation in an instant
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Nurses, firefighters, art critics, mechanics,
athletes
All can make decisions in split seconds that can
have immediate impacts
Framing
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The way an issue is posed will have an
impact on decisions and judgments
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10% of operations result in death
90% of operations survive
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1 in 20 more surprising than 10 in 200
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Exposure to a virus will kill 10 out of 10 Million
Exposure to a virus will kill .000001%
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Framing in Politics
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Aiding the needy vs Welfare
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SALE!!!
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Mark up regular price, looks like a better deal
Cash price vs Credit at the gas pump
Framing with options
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Used to push people in a certain direction
when giving them options
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Portion sizes at restaurants
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Regular vs “small size”
Small size vs “Supersized”
Organ donations
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If default is yes, nearly all will do it
If you have to opt out, less likely to say no
Language
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Spoken, written, or signed ways of
communicating
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Phonemes
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The smallest part of spoken language
In about 500 languages, there are 869 different
phonemes
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English uses about 40
Phonemes
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Varying the vowel sounds between b and t
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How many different words can you come up with?
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Bait, bat, beat/beet, bet, bit, bite, boat, boot,
bought, bout, but
Phonemes
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Consonants carry more meaning when we
speak
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“The trerth ef thes stetement shed be
evedent frem thes bref demenstretien”
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I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd
waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the
hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde
Uinervtisy, it dseno't mttaer in waht oderr the lterets
in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit
and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a
taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a
pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not
raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg
was ipmorantt! See if yuor fdreins can raed tihs too.
Phonemes
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Works in sign language too?
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You can tell where a person is from by the
different types of signing they do
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More than 200 types of sign language
Morphemes
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Smallest part of language that carries
meaning
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I
S, to understand a plural
Include prefixes (pre), suffixes (ed)
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Grammar
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System of rules that enables us to
communicate with each other
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Semantics – rules that allow us to derive
meaning from morphemes, words and
sentences
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ed means it happened in the past
Grammar
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Syntax
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Rules we use to put words in order in a sentence
The English language has 616,500 words (in
the dictionary)
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How we put these words together, allows us to
create an infinite number of sentences
Language Development
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After 1 year old, you learn about 3500 words
a year
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Rarely do we form sentences in our minds
before we speak them
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They are put together as we are speaking
When do we start learning language?
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Infants – In fantis “without language”
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Babies can recognize speech
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They look for the one speaking
Recognize ‘ah’ and ‘ee’ sounds and mouth
position
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Productive Language
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Ability to produce words
Babbling stage – spontaneously start uttering sounds
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Not imitating adult speech –
Nature allows speech, nurture cultures it
Receptive language
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They can take words and start to break them into segments
of each sound
7 months
Language
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By 10 mos, a trained ear may be able to pick
up what a baby is saying
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1st Bday – one word stage
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Using one word to convey meaning
2 yrs. – telegraphic speech
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2 word phases
Skinner and Language
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Operant Conditioning –
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Learning principles can explain language
acquisition
Association – seeing things and hearing words
Imitation – words and syntax used by others
Reinforcement – rewards for correct use
Chomsky
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Kids learn way to fast to be explained by just
Skinner’s rules
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Language acquisition device
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Language happens to a child
Universal grammar
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Nouns, verbs, adjectives are similar in any language
Arrangement may be different
Start speaking in nouns in most languages
Statistical learning and critical periods
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At 7 mos, babies can recognize syllable patterns
through exposure and repetition
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They come with built in programming?
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Childhood seems to be the only time we can do this
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Critical period for language development
The older you get, the harder it becomes to learn languages
Deaf children – born deaf vs becoming deaf
Linguistic determinism
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Language determines the way we think – B. L. Whorf
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“language itself shapes basic ideas”
The Hopi and the past
Bilingual people will respond to questions differently
when taking a test in different languages
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Influences how we think more than it determines our
personality
Increased word power
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Bilingual advantage
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More aptly find the important information when
communicating than those who speak one
language
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Students immersed in elementary school, we
more creative, had higher aptitude scores, better
English and more appreciation for other culture
Thinking in images
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Implicit memory
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Thinking with images, not words
Mental picture of how you do something
Chi Kung
Watching videos can activate the brain’s
ability to simulate it
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Sports, Music, Pain
Thinking in images
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Outcome simulation vs process simulation
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Which is better to imagine for 5 minutes a day?
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Celebrating a good grade on a test
Visualizing good study habits
Language does affect our thinking, but
thinking also affects language – that’s how
we come up with new words
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