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Thinking, Language and Intelligence
The Building Blocks of Thought • What is Cognition? – Refers to all the mental activities involved in acquiring, retaining and using knowledge. – This includes all the mental activities associated with processing, understanding, remembering, and communicating
What are you thinking? • Thinking- manipulation of mental representations (mental images and concepts) of information in order to draw inferences and conclusions – It involves all active mental processes – It is often directed towards some goal or purpose with a conclusion
You see what? • What is a mental image? – Mental representation of objects or events that are not physical present. • Ex. When asked direction to your house it triggers a series of familiar mental images as you describe the route • You are also able to picture places or events that you have never experienced: reading a novel. • Not limited to visual- you can create mental representations for taste and texture. Ex. Oatmeal, think of tea drink milk
Concepts • Mental Categories of objects or ideas based on properties they share – Concepts make it easier to communicate and learn and remember new information – Orderly hierarchies of main categories and subcategories. Ex. Food: Fruit/Vegetables
Concepts – Forming Concepts- 2 step process • Formal concept- mental category formed by learning the rules, features or attributes that define it. Ex. 3 sides= triangle • Natural Concept- concept formed as a result of everyday experiences rather than learning or determining a set of rules – Usually have fuzzy boundaries – Ex. Vehicle- right away you make think of a car, truck, or bus but not usually a sled, raft, or elevator – Prototypes- a mental image or best example of a category: Ex. What would be a prototype for a bird?
You got a problem? Yo, I’ll solve it!! -Vanilla Ice • Problem Solving- Thinking and behavior directed toward attaining a goal that is not readily available. – Cognitive Task: from fixing a flat tire to figuring out how to pay for college
That’s an IDEAL way to solve your problem… • IDEAL Problem Solver- Developed by two psychologists Bransford and Stein Steps one and two: Identify and Define the problem 1. Recognize a problem exists 2. Accurately define it- sort out important and unimportant info and determine which aspects of the problem are relative to the solution
IDEAL PROBLEM SOLVER Steps 3 and 4: Explore possible strategies and then Act on a stragegy 1. Trial and Error- Strategy involves trying a variety of solutions and eliminating those that don’t work. 2. Algorithms- following a specific rule, procedure or method which will eventually produce a correct solution. Ex. Programming TIVO- Follow specific steps from manual/math problems: Pythagorean Theorem 3. Heuristics- following a general rule of thumb to reduce the number of possible solutions; breaks problem into sub goals. Ex. Guava juice
IDEAL Problem Solving: Step 3 and 4 4. AHA! Experience- solution to some problems bring a sudden insight or realization development. DUH!!! Step 5 - Look back and evaluate the solution. 1. Metacognition- thinking about thinking. Your awareness of your own cognitive process. Using metacognition may cause you to change to new strategies. Ex. If you solve an Algebra problem one way and think about the problem, you may find it easier to go another route.
Obstacles to Solving Problems • Functional Fixedness- inability to see a problem from a new perspective. – Ex. Search everywhere looking for a screwdriver when a dime or butter knife would have worked. • Confirmation bias- tendency to search for information that confirms one’s preconceptions – Ex. Sadam Hussein and WMD’s
Obstacles to Problem Solving • Mental Set- refers to our tendency to approach a problem with the mindset of what has worked for us previously. – O-T-T-F-? -? -? What are three final letters? – J-F-M-A-? -? -? What are three final letters?
Decision Making • Strategies – Single-Feature Model- to simplify choice among many alternatives you base your decision on a single feature. Where to go eat-cheapest/closest, etc. – Additive Model- systematically evaluate the important features of each alternative and rate them on important factors – Elimination by Aspects Model- evaluate all alternatives one characteristic at a time starting with the most important features. If a specific alternative fails to meet criterion you eliminate from your list.
Decisions Involving Uncertainty • Have to estimate the probability of an events occurring-Ex. Running late decision -should you speed/you have to estimate the probability of getting pulled over. When you are weighing the odds you tend to rely on two heuristics.
Heuristics • Representativeness Heuristics- judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent or match particular prototypes; may lead to you ignoring other relevant information If you meet a slim, short, man who wears glasses and likes poetry, what do you think his profession would be? An Ivy league professor or a truck driver?
Heuristics • Availability Heuristics- likelihood of an event is estimated on the basis of how easily other instances of the event are available in memory-less likely to speed if just received a ticket 1. How recently we have heard about the event. 2. How distinct it is. 3. How correct it is.
Overconfidence Intuitive heuristics, confirmation of beliefs, and the inclination to explain failures increase our overconfidence. Overconfidence is a tendency to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgments. At a stock market, both the seller and the buyer may be confident about their decisions on a stock.
Exaggerated Fear The opposite of having overconfidence is having an exaggerated fear about what may happen. Such fears may be unfounded. AP/ Wide World Photos The 9/11 attacks led to a decline in air travel due to fear.
Framing Decisions and judgments may be significantly affected depending upon how an issue is framed. Example: What is the best way to market ground beef — as 25% fat or 75% lean?
Language, our spoken, written, or gestured work, is the way we communicate meaning to ourselves and others. M. & E. Bernheim/ Woodfin Camp & Associates Language transmits culture.
Language Structure Phonemes: The smallest distinct sound unit in a spoken language. For example: bat, has three phonemes b · a · t chat, has three phonemes ch · a · t
Language Structure Morpheme: The smallest unit that carries a meaning. It may be a word or part of a word. For example: Milk = milk Pumpkin = pump. kin Unforgettable = un · for · get · table
Structuring Language Phonemes Basic sounds (about 40) … ea, sh. Morphemes Smallest meaningful units (100, 000) … un, for. Words Meaningful units (290, 500) … meat, pumpkin. Phrase Composed of two or more words (326, 000) … meat eater. Sentence Composed of many words (infinite) … She opened the jewelry box.
Grammar is the system of rules in a language that enable us to communicate with and understand others. Grammar Semantics Syntax
Semantics is the set of rules by which we derive meaning from morphemes, words, and sentences. For example: Semantic rule tells us that adding –ed to the word laugh means that it happened in the past.
Syntax consists of the rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences. For example: In English, syntactical rule says that adjectives come before nouns; white house. In Spanish, it is reversed; casa blanca.
When do we learn language? Babbling Stage: Beginning at 4 months, the infant spontaneously utters various sounds, like ahgoo. Babbling is not imitation of adult speech.
When do we learn language? One-Word Stage: Beginning at or around his first birthday, a child starts to speak one word at a time and is able to make family members understand him. The word doggy may mean look at the dog out there.
When do we learn language? Two-Word Stage: Before the 2 nd year a child starts to speak in two-word sentences. This form of speech is called telegraphic speech because the child speaks like a telegram: “Go car, ” means I would like to go for a ride in the car.
When do we learn language? Longer phrases: After telegraphic speech, children begin uttering longer phrases (Mommy get ball) with syntactical sense, and by early elementary school they are employing humor. You never starve in the desert because of all the sand -which-is there.
When do we learn language?
Explaining Language Development 1. Operant Learning: Skinner (1957, 1985) believed that language development may be explained on the basis of learning principles such as association, imitation, and reinforcement.
Explaining Language Development 2. Inborn Universal Grammar: Chomsky (1959, 1987) opposed Skinner’s ideas and suggested that the rate of language acquisition is so fast that it cannot be explained through learning principles, and thus most of it is inborn.
How language influences thinking: • Whorf- theory of linguistic relativity: suggested that language determines the way we think. For example, he noted that the Hopi people do not have the past tense for verbs. Therefore, the Hopi cannot think readily about the past. • Language and memory: patterns with distinctive names are easier to remember and can contribute to memory distortions – Ex. Dumbbell, eyeglasses
Do Animals Exhibit Language? There is no doubt that animals communicate. Copyright Baus/ Kreslowski Monkeys, whales and even honey bees communicate with members of their species and other species. Rico (collie) has a 200 -word vocabulary
The Case of Apes Chimps do not have a vocal apparatus for human-like speech (Hayes & Hayes, 1951). Therefore, Gardner and Gardner (1969) used American Sign Language (ASL) to train Washoe, a chimp, who learned 182 signs by the age of 32.
Computer Assisted Language Others have shown that chimpanzees can develop even greater vocabularies Kanzi developed vocabulary for hundreds of words and phrases. Copyright of Great Ape Trust of Iowa
Intelligence • The global capacity to think rationally, act purposefully and deal effectively with the environment • Radical Ideas: – Can intelligence be measured? – Do intelligence tests measure cultural differences? – Does heredity or environment play a part in difference of intelligence
Development of Intelligence Tests • Alfred Binet – France Commissioned to identify children who may need special help in school – Devised a series of tests to measure different mental abilities- focused on memory, attention, ability to understand similarities and differences – Brighter children answered like older children and less capable answered like younger children – Binet developed the idea of a mental age which may be different from the child’s chronological age – His tests became the basis for modern intelligence tests
Binet’s Beliefs • He did not believe that he was measuring inborn intelligence or permanent level of intelligence • Believed intelligence was too complex to describe with a single number • Refused to rank “normal” children on basis of scores-only wanted to identify children who would need special help • Recognized individual factors might affect a child’s scores –motivation- and that score could change
Development of Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test • Lewis Terman took Binet’s intelligence test and did exactly what Binet didn’t want to do: Put a numerical measure on inherited intelligence • These scores expressed in a single number called intelligence quotient or (IQ) • IQ= Mental Age X 100 Chronological Age
Group Intelligence Testing • Emerged during WWI when US needed to screen recruits to determine level of rank – Army Alpha/Army Beta • From this is was adopted for civilian usedesigned to test everyone school children, prisoners, and immigrants • Terman did a study on school children with genius IQ’s and followed them using a longitudinal study
Negatives of Group Intelligence Testing • Terman and others became convinced that IQ was important to one’s success in different profession • Tried to identify min. IQ needed for certain professions and insisted that employers should test applicants for those jobs
Principles of Test Construction • Types of tests that measure intelligence of mental ability – Achievement- designed to measure a person’s level of knowledge, skill of accomplishment • Ex. Stanford Achievement, ITBS, California Achievement Test (CAT) – Aptitude- Designed to assess a person’s capacity to benefit from education or training- tests your ability learn certain types of information or perform certain skills
Three Requirements for Test Design • Standardization- test is given to a large number of subjects who are representative of the group for whom the test is designed – Subjects take same test under uniform conditions – Scores of this group establish the norms of standards against which an individual score is compared and interpreted – Norms follow a pattern of individual differences called the normal distribution- bell shaped curve where most scores cluster around the average score
3 Requirements Continued • Reliability- test must consistently produce similar scores on different occasions – Can do this by giving two similar but not identical versions of the test at different times • Validity- test measures what it is supposed to measure – Ex- test measures mechanical aptitudecompare test scores with the degree of success that people have in jobs with mechanical skills
Wechsler Test of Intelligence • Specifically designed for adults rather than children – Provided scores on 11 subsets measuring different abilities: Verbal scores, vocabulary, comprehension, knowledge of general info/other verbal tasks – Performance score: nonverbal tests such as identifying missing parts, arranging pictures to tell a story, arranging blocks to match a pattern
Wechsler Test of Intelligence • Profile of an individual’s strengths and weakness-if low scores on some tests and high scores on other could indicate a learning disability • Now the most commonly administered intelligence test
Four Views on the Nature of Intelligence • Controversy surrounds two questions: – Is intelligence a single general ability or is it a cluster of different abilities? – How narrowly should intelligence be defined, is it just mental ability or should it include practical skills?
Charles Spearman • Intelligence is a general ability – Found that scores on different tests tended to be similar – G Factor (general intelligence) was responsible for overall performance on mental ability tests – Can use a single measure of general cognitive ability- a single IQ score
Louis L. Thurstone • Intelligence is a cluster of abilities – Believed there were 7 different primary abilities each a relatively independent element of intelligence – Abilities such as verbal comprehension, numerical ability, reasoning and perceptual speed – G factor was less important than an individual’s specific pattern of mental abilities
Howard Gardner • Multiple Intelligences – Looked at the kinds of skills and products valued by different cultures – Also studied brain damaged people noting some mental abilities are spared while others are lost- implies that mental abilities are biologically distinct and controlled by different parts of the brain – Mental abilities are independent and cannot accurately be reflected in a single measure of the brain – The def. of intelligence should be defined w/n a particular culture – Linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodilykinesthetic, personal
Robert Sternberg • Three forms of intelligence – Does not agree in the concept of multiple intelligences- he thinks some of Gardner’s intelligences are better described as specialized talents while intelligence has a more general quality – You would be able to manage fine if you were tone deaf and lacked musical intelligence but would have difficulty if you were unable to reason or plan ahead
Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence • Componential Intelligences- mental process used in learning: how to solve problems, picking a problem-strategy and solving problemsconventional tests do not measure strategies • Experiential Intelligence- ability to deal with situations by drawing on existing skills and knowledge-drawing on the past • Contextual Intelligence- ability to adapt to the environment or street smarts- behaviors with this intelligence are dependent on the context of culture
What Determines Intelligence • Heredity and Environment – Are some things linked- for example: heightwon’t reach genetic potential if malnourished – Genetic range of intellectual potential is influenced by many genes not a single one – Twin Studies • Identical twins reared together have greatest degree of similar IQ scores
Group Differences in IQ scores • Comparing IQ scores of different racial groups – American and Asian Children: • Asian score higher on IQ tests especially in math- difference increases with each year of school. Asian children spend more time in school and academic achievement is stressed by parents and culture – Black and White scores in America: • Blacks score 10 points less on avg. than white • Reasons: It is possible to estimate the degree of difference w/n groups but cannot est. for differences b/w groups Ex. Plants
Group Differences in IQ scores • Reasons: – Unless environmental conditions to two racial groups are virtually identical it is impossible to estimate the overall genetic differences b/w two groups • Scarr and Weinberg Studies – Adopted children-black children adopted into white highly educate families and high income level- IQ scores higher than average white or black children – Younger the children were adopted the higher their IQ scores – IQ difference not due to race but rather socioeconomic conditions and cultural values
Group Differences in IQ scores • Intelligence test scores have risen in just one generation –too short of a span for genetic influences must be environmental • In many societies, IQ is lower for members discriminated against even when that group is not racially different than the dominant group
Are IQ tests Culturally Biased? • Do the reflect white middle class cultural knowledge and values? – Early tests were very much so – Current effort to create tests that are culturally fair-but difficult to make a culture free test – Cultural differences may also be involved in test taking behavior-people use different strategies in taking tests-factors like motivation and attitude toward the test