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Cognitive Psychology: Knowledge, Development, Conciousness


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Prototype Theory
The claim that mental categories are represented by means of a single "best example," or ________, identifying the "center" of the category. In this view, decisions about category membership, and inferences about the category, are made with reference to this best example, often an average of the examples of that category that one has actually encountered.
Fuzzy Boundary
A distinction between categories that identifies each instance only as more or less likely to be in a category, rather than specifying whether each instance is or is not included in the category.
Graded Membership
The idea that some members of a category are "better" members, and therefore are more firmly in the category than other members.
Sentence Verification Task
An experimental procedure, used for studying memory, in which participants are given simple sentences (e.g. "cats are animals") and must respond as quickly as possible whether the sentence is true or false.
Production Task
An experimental procedure used in studying concepts, in which the person is asked to name as many examples (e.g. as many fruits) as possible.
Exemplar-Based Reasoning
Reasoning that draws on knowledge about specific category members, rather than drawing on more general information about the overall category.
Ad-Hoc Categories
A mental category made up on the spot, in response to a specific question.
A strategy that is reasonably efficient and works most of the time. In using a _____, one is in effect choosing to accept some risk of error in order to gain efficiency.
A sequence of words that conforms to the rules of sytax (and so has the right constituents in the right sequence)
The smallest language unit that carries meaning.
Content Morpheme
The primary carriers of meaning.
Function Morpheme
Specify the relations among words.
The basic categories of sounds used to convey language.
The study of sounds that are used to convey language.
One of the properties that distinguishes different categories of speech sounds. A sound is considered "______" if the vocal folds are vibrating while the sound is produed.
Place of Articulation
The position at which a speaker momentarily obstructs the flow of air out of the lungs to produce a speech sound. For example, the ______ for the b sound is the lips; the _____ for the d sound is created by the tongue briefly touching the roof of the mouth.
Manner of Production
The way in which a speaker momentarily obstructs the flow of air out of the lungs to produce a speech sound. This obstruction can take several forms. For example, the airflow can be fully stopped for a moment, as it is in the t or b sound; or the air can continue to flow, as it does in the pronunciation of f or v.
Speech Segmentation
The proess through which a stream of speech is "sliced" into cits constituent words and, within words, into the constituent phonemes.
A trait of speech production in which the way a sound is produced is altered slightly by the immediately previous and immediately following sounds. Because of this "overlap" in speech production, the acousitc properties of each speech sound vary according to the context in which that sound appears.
Categorical Perception
The tendency to hear speech sounds "merely" as members of a category-- the category of "z" sounds, or the category of "p" sounds, and so on. As a consequence, one tends to hear sounds within the category as being rather similar to each other; sounds from different categories, however, are perceived as quite different.
Voice-Onset Time
The time period that elapses between the start of a speech sound and the onset of voicing. ____ is the main feature distinguishing "voiced" consonants (such as b, with a near zero ____) and "unvoiced" consonants (such as p, with a ___ of approximately 60 ms)
The idea that one can combine and recombine basic units to create new and more-complex entities. Linguistic rules, for example, are ____, and so govern how a limited number of words can be combined and recombined to produce a vast number of sentences.
Prescriptive Rules
Rules describing how things are supposed to be instead of how they are.
The pattern of skills and knowledge that might be revealed under optimal circumstances.
The actual behavior someone produces (including the errors they make) under ordinary circumstances.
Metalinguistic Judgment
A particular type of metacognitive judgment, in which one must stand back from one's ordinary language use, and comment on language or linguistic processes.
Metacognitive Judgment
A judgment in which one must stand back from a particular mental activity, and comment on the activity, rather than participating in it.
Over-Regularization Error
An error in which one perceives or remembers a word or event as being closer to the "norm" than it really is. For example, misspelled words are read as though they were spelled correctly; atypical e vents are misremembered in a fashion that brings them closer to more-typical events; words with an irregular past tense (such as "ran") are replaced with a regular past tense ("runned")
Conforming to the rules that govern the sequence of words acceptable within the language.
Noun Phrase
One of the constituents of a phrase structure that defines a sentence.
Verb Phrase
One of the constituents of a phrase structure that defines a sentence.
Phrase-Structure Rule
A constraint that governs the pattern of brancing in a phrase-structure tree. Equivalently, ____ govern what the constituents must be for any syntactic element of a sentence.
A property of rule systems that allows a symbol to appear both on the left side of a definition (the part being defined) and on the right side (the part providing the definition). ___ rules within sytax, for example, allow a sentence to include another sentence as one of its constituents, as in the following example "Solomon says that Jacob is talented."
Phrase-Sturcture Ambiguity
Ambiguity in how a sentence should be interpreted, resulting from the fact that more than one phrase structure is compatible with the sentence. An example is "I saw the bird with my binoculars."
Movement Rule
A rule that describes one aspect of our knowledge about sentence structure. _____ govern, for example, how the sentence "Can he do it?" is formed from the base of "He can do it."
Underlying Structure
An abstract representation of the sentence to be expressed; sometimes called "deep structure" or "d-structure."
Surface Structure
The representation of a sentence that is actually expressed in speech. In some treatments, this structure is referred to as "s-structure."
Linguistic Universal
A rule that appears to apply to every human language
The process through which one divides an input into its appropriate elements-- for example, divides the stream of incoming speech into its constituent words.
Garden-Path Sentences
A sentence that initially leads the reader to one understanding of how the sentence's words are related, but that then requires a change in this understanding in order to comprehend the sentence. Examples are "The old man ships," or "The horse raced past the barn fell."
Minimal Attachment
A heauristic used in sentence perception. The listener or reader proceeds though the sentence seeking the simplest possible phrase structure that woill accommodate the words heard so far.
Extralinguistic Context
The social and physical setting in which a sentence is encountered; usually, cues within this setting guide the interpretation of the sentence.
The pattern of pauses and pitch changes that characterize speech production. ____ can be used to emphasize elements of a spoken sentence, to highlight the sentence's intended structure, or to signal the difference between a question and an assertion.
Pragmatic Rule
A rule that governs how language is ordinarily used, as well as how this language will be interpreted. As an example, "Do you know the time?" is literally a question about one's knowledge, but this question is interpreted as a request that one report what time it is.
A distruption to language capacities, often caused by brain damage.
Broca's Area
An area usually in the left frontal lobe of the brain; damage here typically causes nonfluent aphasia.
Nonfluent Aphasia
A disruption of language, caused by brain damage, in which someone loses the ability to speak or write with any fluency.
Wernicke's Area
An area usually in the left frontal lobe of the brain; damage here typically causes fluent aphasia.
Fluent Aphasia
A disruption of language, caused by brain damage, in which afflicted individuals are able to produce speech, but the speech is not meaningful, and the individuals are not able to understand what is said to them.
A disruption of language abilities, usually resulting from specific brain damage, in which the individual loses the ability to name objects, including highly familiar objects.
Specific Language Impairment
A genetically rooted syndrome in which individuals seem to have normal intelligence but problems in learning the rules of language.
Linguistic Relativity
The proposal that the language that we speaks shapes our thought, because the structure and vocabulary of our language create certain ways of thinking about the world (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis)
The process through which one "looks within," to observe and record the content of one's own mental life.
Self-Report Data
A form of evidence in which the person is asked directly about his or her own thoughts or experiences.
Chronometic Study
Literally "time measurement" study; generally, a study that measures the amount of time a task takes, often used as a means of examing the task's components, or used as a means of examining which brain events are simultaneous with specific mental events.
Image-Scanning Procedure
An experimental procedure in which participants are asked to form a specific mental image, and then asked to scan, with their "mind's eye," from one point in the image to another. By timing these scans, the experimenter can determine how long "travel" takes across a mental image.
Mental Rotation
A proess that participants seem to use in comparing one imaged form to another. To make the comparison, participants seem to imagine one form ____ into alignment with the other, so that the forms can be compared
Demand Character
Cues within an experiment that signal to the participant how he or she is "supposed to" respond.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
A technique in which a series of strong magnetic pulses at a specific location on the scalp cause temporary disruption in the brain region directly underneath this scalp area.
Visual Acuity
A measure of one's ability to see fine detail.
An internal representation of the world that results from perceiving; ___ are organized depictions.
Neutral Depiction
A representation that directly reflects the layout and appearance of an object or scene, but without adding any specifications about how that depiction is to be understood.
Organized Depiction
A representation that directly reflects the layout and appearance of an object or scene, but that also adds some specifications about how it is to be understood (e.g., where the form's top is, what the form's figure/ground orientation is).
Perceptual Reference Frame
The set of specifications about how a form is to be understood that provides the organization in an organized depiction.
Image File
Visual information stored in long-term memory, specifying what a particular object or shape looks like. Information within the ____ can then be used as a "recipe" or set of instructions for how to construct an active image of this object or shape.
Dual Coding
A theory that imaginable materials, such as high-imagery words, will be doubly represented in memory: the word itself will be rememberd, and so will the corresponding mental image.
Boundary Extension
A tendency for people to remember pictures as being less "zoomed in" (and thus having wider boundaries) than they actually are.
A pattern of reasoning in which one seeks to draw general claims from specific bits of evidence.
Normative Account
An account that tells how things ought to be, as opposed to how they are.
Frequency Estimates
People's assessment of how often they have encountered examples of a particular category and how likely they are to encounter new examples of that category.
Availability Heuristic
A strategy used to judge the frequency of a certain type of object, or the liklihood of a certain type of event. The first step is to assess the ease with which examples of the object or event come to mind; this "____" of examples is then used as an index of frequency or likelihood.
Representativeness Heuristic
A strategy often used in making judgments about categories. This strategy is broadly equivalent to making the assumption that, in general, the instances of a category will resemble the prototype for that category and, likewise, that the prototype resembles each instance.
Anchoring and Adjustment
A commonly used strategy for making judgments, in which one begins with an "anchor" (an estimate roughly in the ballpark of the desired answer) and "adjusts" the anchor to make it more realistic.
A relationship between two variables such that the presence (or magnitude) of one variable can be predicted from the presence (or magnitude) of the other. ___ can be positive or negative: if positive, then increases in one variable occur when increases in the other occur. If negative, then decreases in one variable occur when decreases in the other occur.
Illusory Covariation
A pattern that people "perceive" in data, leading them to believe that the presence of one factor allows them to predict the presence of another factor. However, this perception occurs even in the absence of any genuine relationship between these two factors. As an example, people perceive that a child's willingness to cheat in an academic setting is an indicator that the child will also be willing to cheat in athletic contests. However, this perception is incorrect, and so the covariation that people perceive is "illusory."
Confirmation Bias
A family of effects in which people seem more sensitive to evidence that confirms their beliefs than they are to evidence that challenges their beliefs. Thus, if people are given a choice about what sort of information they would like in order to evaluate their beliefs, they request information that is likely to confirm their beliefs. Likewise, if they are presented with both confirming and disconfirming evidence, they are more likely to pay attention to, to be influenced by, and to remember the confirming evidence, rather than the disconfirming.
Diagnostic Information
Information about an individual case indicating whether the case blongs in one category or another.
Base Rate Information
Information about the broad likelihood of a particular type of event (also referred to as "prior probability").
Dual-Process Models
Any model of thinking that claims we have two distinct means of making judgments-- one of which is fast, efficient, but prone to error, and one that is slower, more effortful, but also more accurate.
Categorical Syllogism
A logical argument containing two premises and a conclusion, and concerned with the properties of, and relations between, categories. An example is, "All trees are plants. All plants require nourishment. Therefore all trees require nourishment." This is valid, since the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion.
A proposition that is assumed to be true in a logic problem; the problem asks what conclusion follows from its ___
Belief Bias
A tendency, within logical reasoning, to endorse a conclusion if the conclusion happens to be something one believes is true anyhow. in displaying this tendency, people seem to ignore both the premises of the logical argument and logic itself, and rely instead on their broader pattern of beliefs about what is true and what is not.
Matching Strategy
A shortcut apparently used in reasoning tasks; to use this strategy, the person selects a conclusion that contains the same words (e.g., "not," "some," "all") as the premises.
Conversion Error
An error in which people convert statements from one form into annother-- for example, treating "All A are B" as though it were identical to "All B are A," or treating "If A then B" as though it were identical to "if B then A."
Modus Ponens
A logical rule stipulating that, from the two premises "If P then Q" and "P is true," one can draw the conclusion "Therefore, Q is true."
Conditional Statement
A statement of the format "If X then Y," with the first statemtn (the "if" clause) providing a condition under which the second statement (the "then" clause) is guaranteed to be true.
Modus Tollens
A logical rule stiuplating that, from the two premises "If P then Q" and "Q is false," one can draw the conclusion "Thereofre, P is false."
Affirming the Consequent
An error often made in logical reasoning. The error begins with these two premise: (a) "If A then B," and (b) "B is true." The error consists of drawing the false conclusion that (c) "A must thereofre be true.
An argument for which the conclusion follows from the premise, in accord with the rules or logic or the principles of statistics and research methods.
Denying the Antecedent
An error often made in logical reasoning. The error begins with these two premises: (a) "If A then B" and (b) "A is false." The error consists of drawing the false conclusion that (c) "B must therefore also be false."
Selection Task
An experimental procedure, commonly used to study reasoning, in which a person is presented with four cards, with certain information on either side of the card. The person is also given a rule that may describe the cards, and the person's task is to decide which cards must be turned over to find out if the rule describes the cards or not. Also called the "Four-Card Task"
Pragmatic Reasoning Schemata
A collection of rules, derived from ordinary practical experience, that defines what inferences are appropriate in a specific situation. These ____ are usually defined in terms of a goal or theme, and so one ____ defines the rules appropriate for reasoning about situations involving "permission," whieras a different one defines the rules appropriate for thinking about situations involving cause-and-effect relationships.
Necessary Condition
A condition that must be fulfilled in order for a certain consequence to occur. However, _____ may not guarantee that the consequence will occur, since it may be true that other conditions must also be met.
Suffifient Condition
A condition that, if satisfied, guarantees that a certain consequence will occur. However, ____ may not be necessary for that consequence (since the same consequence may occur for some other reasons).
Mental Model
An internal representation in which an abstract description is translated into a relatively concrete representation, with that representation serving to illustrate how that abstract state of affairs might be realized.
Expected Value
An estimate of the value of choosing a particular option, calculated as the likely value of that option, if it is obtained, multiplied by the probability of gaining that value.
Aspects of how a decision is phrased that are, in fact, irrelevant to the decision, but that influence people's choices nonetheless.
Utility Maximization
The proposal that people make decisions by seletcting the option that has the greatest utility.
A tendency toward seeking out risk. People tend to be ____ when contemplating losses, because they are willing to gamble in hopes of avoiding (or diminishing) their losses.
A tendency toward avoiding risk. People tend to be ____ when contemplating gains, choosing instead to hold tight to what they already have.
Reason-Based Choice
A proposal for how people make decisions. The central idea is that people make a choice when-- and only when-- they detect what they believe to be a persuasive reason for making that choice.
Mental Accounting
A process that seems to guide our decision-making, in which different choices and different resources are kept separate, so that gains in one "account" (for example) do not influence choices about a different account.
System 1
A commonly used name for judgment and reasoning strategies that are fast and effortless, but prone to error.
System 2
A commonly used name for judgment and reasoning strategies that are slower and require more effort than system 1 strategies do, but are less prone to error.
Somatic Markers
States of the body used in decision-making. For example, a tight stomach and an accelerated heart rate when someone is thinking about an option can signal that person that the option has risk associated with it.
Cognitive Unconscious
The broad set of mental activities of which we are completely unaware that makes possible our ordinary thinking, remembering, reasoning, and so on.
Causal Attribution
An interpretation of a thought or behavior in which one decides what caused the behavior.
Subliminal Prime
A prime that is presented so quickly that it is not consciously deteted; such primes nonetheless can have an impact on subsequent perceptions or thoughts.
Blind Sight
A pattern resulting from brain damage, in which the person seems unable to see in all or part of his/her field of vision, but can correctly respond to visual inputs when required to by an experimenter.
Action Slip
An error in which someone performs some behavior, or makes some response, that is different from the behavior or response intended.
Neural Correlate
An event in the nervous system that occurs at the same time as, and may be the biological basis of, a specific mental event or state.
Neuronal Workspace Hypothesis
A specific claim about how the brain makes conscious experience possible; the proposal is that "workspace neurons" link together the activity of various specialized brain areas, and this linkage makes possible integration and comparison of different types of information.
Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC)
A brain structure known to play a crucial role in detecting and resolving conflicts among different brain systems

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