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Psychology Chapters 6-8


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evolutionary context of language
Steven Pinker argues that humans' special talent for language is a species specific trait that is the product of natural selection, others are skeptical that language is a product of evolution
self-referent encoding
involves deciding if the information to be learned is personally relevant
partial reinforcement
only some of the desired responses get reinforcement
prospective memory
system for remembering to perform actions in the future (i.e. walking the dog). plays a role in everyday life. "absent minded" if you have a bad prospective memory. constant/habitual tasks are easier to remember than infrequent tasks
irrelevant information
obstacle in solving problems. the problem contains information that is not important to solving the problem. people often assume that numerical information is most important for solving a problem but that may not necessarily be the case. people have to be able to know the different between important and unimportant information to solve the problem
nativist theory
Naom Chomsky leader of this group. he pointed out that there were way too many sentences in the language for children to learn it by imitation. he said that children learn the rules of language as apposed to specific verbal responses. Chomsky also favoured the theory that humans have an inborn propensity to develop language.
trial and error
method to solving a solution that involves trying possible solutions and discarding those that are in error until one works
animals developing language
researchers taught a chimp named Washoe to learn sign language and create simple sentences using it. researchers continued to study language development, but their ability for language will never compare to that of humans
conditioned stimulus
stimulus that evokes the original response to the first stimulus
measure of retention that requires the subject to select previously learned information from an array of options (true false or multiple choice questions)
problem solving
the active effort to discover what must be done to achieve a goal that is not readily attainable
sensory memory
memory that doesn't last long. it preserves the information in it's original form for a a brief period of time
semantic memory system
subdivision of declarative system. records general knowledge not tied to the time when it was learned
punishment affectiveness
apply punishment swiftly, make punishments severe enough to be effective, make punishment consistent, explain the punishment, do not use physical violence
secondary reinforcer
when the reinforcement will be given
irrational fear of objects or situations
searching for analogies
strategy used for solving problems using heuristics. similarities in problems that help you solve them (i.e. if you know the solution to one, and it is similar to a problem that you are stuck on, you may be able to find the answer the same way)
linguistic relativity
Benjamin Lee Whorf is the main advocate. the theory says that people's different languages lead them to have different thoughts/views of the world. his theory was studied with casual observation, but it is a theory in great debate and newly found evidence helps to support his claim
instictive drift
a natural response interferes with conditioning process
flashbulb memories
unusually vivid and detailed recollections of momentous events. their accuracy and specialness diminishes over time as they become less and less detailed
retrospective memory
memory system that remembers events from the past/previously learned information (ex trying to recall previous winner of stanley cup)
mean length of utterance (MLU)
the average length of children's spoken statements (measured in morphemes)
often involved with problems of arrangement. it is the sudden discovery of the correct solution following incorrect attempts based primarily on trial and error
time based tasks
tasks that are actions to be performed at a specific time or after a specific time has passed. cues make it easier to remember event based tasks
emergentist theory
theory that argues that the neural circuits supporting language are prewired but gradually emerge in response to language learning experiences
stimulus generalization
an organism responds to stimulus similar to the original one
semantic encoding
emphasizes the meaning of the information such as what the words represent
biochemistry of memory
formation of this results in alterations in synaptic transmission at specific sites. James McGaugh theorized that hormones influenced memory storage/adequate protein synthesis was necessary for the formation of these
occurs when a child incorrectly uses a word to describe a wider set of object or actions that it is meant to (i.e. using the word "ball" for everything round). usually appears in people's speeches between the ages of 1 and 2 1/2
source monitoring error
a memory that actually happened in one place is recalled as happening in another
event based tasks
tasks that are future actions triggered by specific cue
additive strategy
strategy for decision making where a person lists the attributes that influence their decision. after, they would rate the desirability of each attribute. they would add up the ratings and select the decision with the highest rate
phonemic encoding
emphasizes what a word sounds like mainly by naming it or saying it
one of the three key processes involved in memory. the process of forming a memory code. this usually requires attention
long term memory potential
long lasting increase in neural excitability at synapses along a specific neural pathway
working backward
strategy for solving problems using the heuristic method. it is suited to problems with a well specified end point
organized cluster of information about a particular object/event different from previous experiences with the object/event. people are likely to either remember things associated with the particular cluster of information rather than things that are not or they may recall something better if it differs from the cluster that it belongs to. we have clusters for people, types of people and special events.
declarative memory system
system that recalls words, definitions, names, dates, faces, events, concepts and ideas- factual information
proportion of remembered material
a response from a conditioned stimulus weakens/goes away because it is no longer seen with the conditioned stimulus
operant conditioning
introduced by BF Skinner. a way of learning where responses are controlled by consequences
system of rules that say how words can be arranged into sentences. underlie all language use, though you may not be aware of them
renewal effect
a response that is extinguished reappears in the environment that it was acquired
conceptual hierarchy
classification system that is multileveled based on common properties among items. it can improve recalling information and is organized in schemas
experiences that lead to changes in behaviour and knowledge
source monitoring
contributes to mistakes that people make in the retrieval of information. when people recall a memory that have to make decisions at the time of retrieval about where the memories came from. we may know right away or we struggle to pinpoint its source
implicit memory
incidental, unintentional remembering unaffected by amnesia, age, drugs, manipulations of interference etc.
hierarchical structure in language
structure goes from basic sounds, to units, to words, to phrases and finally into sentences
semantic network
network consisting of nodes representing concepts linked together by pathways to related concepts (i.e. thinking of one word and then naturally thinking of a related word)
retrograde amnesia
loss of memories for events that occurred prior to the onset amnesia
tendency to remember things that belong in the same category
area of language concerned with understanding the meaning of words and word combinations. word's meaning consists of it's actual meaning (dictionary definition) and it's emotional overtones on the reader (how the word makes the reader feel)
theory of bounded rationality
introduced by Herbert Simon. states that people tend to use simple strategies in decision making that focus on only a few facets of available options and often result in irrational decisions that are less optimal
changing the representation of the problem
strategy used for heuristic problems. showing the problem in the form of images helps you to solve the problem, and if the visual aid does not help, than change the way you've drawn it out
law of effect
introduced by Edward L. Thurndike. states that satisfying consequences lead to strengthened responses
stimulus discrimination
an organism does not respond to stimulus similar to the original one
metalinguistic awareness
the ability to reflect on the use of language, and begin to "play" with language
"working memory"
presented by Alan Baddeley. model of short term memory with 4 components- phonological rehearsal loop (use recitation to remember things like a phone number), visuospatial sketchpad (hold and manipulate visual images for a temporary period of time like mentally rearranging bedroom furniture), execute control system (switches and divides attention), episodic buffer (seres as a mid point between this and long term memory. where information can integrate for a limited period of time)
positive punishment
presentation of a physical punishment
Classical Conditioning
introduced by Ivan Pavlov. Type of learning where one stimulus can get the same response as another stimulus
elimination by aspects
strategy for decision making where a person gradually eliminates less attractive alternates until one is left standing. it is best used to evaluate attributes when they are in the order of their importance
negative punishment
removal of rewarding stimulus
measure of retention that requires the subject to memorize information a second time to determine how much time or how many practice trials are saved by having learned it before
milestones in language developement
the periods in people's lives when they begin to vocalize themselves, and finally begin to speak
explicit memory
intentional, conscious remembering. largely affected by factors stated above.
smallest unit of speech in a language that can be distinguished perceptually. english has about 40, one for every letter of the alphabet, plus more for variations (for example, the different pronunciations of letters in words). some are represented by a combination of letters (for example,TH or CH)
negative reinforcement
removal of an unpleasant stimulus
dual-coding theory
created by Allan Paivio. states that to enhance memory one should use semantic and visual codes as both help to recall things better
group of familiar stimuli stored as a single unit
occur at the end of the third year of life. happens when grammatical rules are incorrectly generalized to irregular cases where they do not apply (i.e. saying things like "the girl goed home") it is cross cultural
hypothetical process involving the gradual transformation of information into durable memory codes stored in long term memory. consolidated in the hippocampal region that either binds together memories stored in other places of the brain, or consolidates new information and stores it into other places of the brain. the parahippocampal region is also important
occurs when a child incorrectly uses a word to describe a narrower set of objects or actions than it is meant to (i.e. only using the world "doll" to refer to one in particular rather than a full group)
acquisition of two languages that use two different sets of speech sounds, vocabulary and grammatical rules. they develop their language just as well as monolingual children. they excel above monolingual children in the areas of cognitive flexibility, analytical reasoning, selective attention and metalinguistic awareness. it is better to acquire a second language when you are younger
unconditioned stimulus
original stimulus. has an unknown response
"rule of thumb" used in solving problems and making decisions. they selectively narrow the problem space but they don't guarantee success
fast mapping
factor underlying cause of vocabulary burst. it is a process where children map a word into an underlying concept after only one exposure
cumulative recorder
graph that records responses. if there is no response, then there is no change. if there is a response there is an upward notch, if a reinforcement is given there is a slash. a steep slope means that there is a rapid response rate. a shallow slope means that there is a slow response rate
reality monitoring
when people reflect on whether something actually happend or they only thought about it happening
problem space
the set of possible pathways to a solution considered by the problem solver. highlights that people must choose from among a variety of strategies in attempting to solve problems
observational learning
learning from observing the actions of others. requires attention of others behaviour, retention to be able to remember what they do, ability to reproduce their action and having the motivation to reproduce their actions
forgetting curve
founded by Hermann Ebbinghaus. displays retention of information and forgetting over time. conclusions to this were that most forgetting happens right after learning something. this was modified to that forgetting doesn't occur that quickly if the subject is memorizing more meaningful material
short term memory
type of memory that has a limited space that can store unrehearsed information for about 20 seconds. the information can be lost from not rehearsing and interference from other things
levels of processing
three levels that verbal information can be processed at
problems of arrangement
solving these problems requires people to arrange the parts of a problem in a way that satisfies some criterion
forming subgoals
strategy involved in heuristics where you create intermediate steps that lead to the solution to your problem
plagiarism that happens when people come up with an idea they think is original when they were actually exposed to it earlier
spontaneous recovery
a response reappears after its extinguished
focusing on a small range of stimuli or events. being selective is important for everyday functioning. it acts as a filter and only allows a select few stimuli to be focused on as it is passed through but then classified as meaningful or not. it is hard to be divided between two tasks and can have negative impact on the performance of the tasks
resistance of extinction
organism continues to make response even after the termination of the reinforcer
event following a response increases tendency to make the response
decision making
people evaluate their choices and try to base their decisions on rational and systematic decisions
visual images help to enrich encoding by representing the words needed to be remembered
long term memory
unlimited capacity store that can hold information over a long period of time
measure of retention that requires the subject to reproduce the information on their own with no cues or help (essay or fill in the blank questions)
field independant
people who rely on internal frames of reference and tend to accept the physical environment as a given instead of trying to analyze of restructure it. people try to restructure the physical environment rather than accepting it as it is
episodic memory system
subdivision of declarative system. records things you have done, seen and heard. includes information such as when you did, saw and heard the things
levels of processing theory
theory states that the deeper the level of processing information, the longer the information will last in your memory
problems of transformation
solving these problems requires people to carry out a sequence of transformations in order to reach a specific goal
encoding specificity principle
the value of retrieval cue depends on how well it corresponds to the memory code
conjunction fallacy
people estimate that the odds of two uncertain events happening together are greater than the odds of either event happening alone (i.e. thinking that your university professor is a politician as well because his personality fits with that of a politician. it is more likely that he belongs to the broader category, as opposed to the less broad one of professor/politician)
field dependant
people who rely on external frames of reference and tend to accept the physical environment as a given instead of trying to analyze or restructure it
smallest unit of meaning in language. approximately 500 in the english language including root words (friend, guard etc.) prefixes, and suffixes
Neural circuitry of memory
Richard F. Thompson showed that specific memories may depend on localized neural circuits in the brain. the key in this circuit is the cerebellum
mental set
common obstacle in problem solving. exists when people persist in using problem solving strategies that have worked in the past (i.e. having an expert work on something they believe they know everything about. they may have a clear idea of what you are diagnosed with, but in fact are not seeing the whole picture)
variable interval
reinforcer given after a variable time has passed
variable ratio
reinforcer given after a variable number of non reinforced responses
cognitive theories
theory that asserts that language development is simply an important aspect of more general cognitive development which depends on both maturation and experience
repeatedly verbalizing or thinking about the information to be learned. recycling the information in your short term memory
Skinner Box
small enclosure where animal responses can be recorded
an event following a response weakens the tendency of the response
a method to problem solving that is a step by step procedure for trying all possible alternatives in searching for a solution to a problem. works when there are not too many possibilities to test.
representativeness heuristic
a person bases estimated probability of an event on how similar it is to the typical prototype of that event
positive reinforcement
presentation of a rewarding stimulus
part of brain that is critical to the formation of learned fears/other emotional memories
transfer-appropriate processing
processing that occurs when the initial processing of information is similar to the type of processing required by the subsequent measure of retention
retention interval
length of time between the presentation of material to be remembered and the measurement of forgetting
analytic cognitive style
Western cultures display this kind of style hat focuses on objects and their properties rather than their contexts. see things in parts
risky decision making
people make choices under conditions of uncertainty. linked with subjective utility which represents what an outcome is personally worth to an individual and subjective probability which is a person's estimated actual probability
structural encoding
shallow process that emphasizes the physical structure of the stimulus (were the letters in the word capitalized or lower case)
initial stage of learning
tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon
temporary memory loss of something you know but can't put your finger on what it is. the information is just out of reach. shows a failure in retrieval and can be jogged with retrieval cues
connectionist/parrallel distributed processing models
model that assumes cognitive processes depend on patterns of activation in highly interconnected computational networks. specific memories correspond to particular patterns of activation across an entire network-information lies in the strength of the connections
one of the 3 processes involved in memory. maintains encoded information in memory over time
availability heuristic
a person bases estimated probability of an event on the ease with which relevant instances come to mind (i.e. estimating the divorce rate based on how many of your friends' parents are divorced)
social communication theories
theory that emphasizes the functional value of interpersonal communication and the social context in which language evolves
telegraphic speech
type of speech that comes into being near the end of the second year of life. consists mainly of content words and other less critical words are omitted (i.e. sentences such as "give doll" rather than "please give me the doll"). not cross culturally universal
functional fixedness
common obstacle in problem solving. it's the tendency to perceive an item only in terms of its most common use
interactionist theory
skeptics against Chomsky. they say that his theory is too vague. their theory says that both biology and experience make important contributions to the development of language
continuous reinforcement
every response gets a reinforcer
interference theory
theory that states that people forget information because of competition from other material. there are two kinds- retroactive (new information impairs the retention of previously learned information) and proactive (previously learned information interferes with the retention of new information)
context cues
clues that help retrieve information about a situation when you return to the place it occured
non declarative/procedural system
system that contains memories of how to execute actions, skills, operations and conditioned responses. linked with implicit memory because memory for skills is largely unconscious
Behaviourist theory of language
Skinner argued on behalf of the behaviourists first stating that language was learned through imitation, reinforcement and other established principles of conditioning. they say that by controlling reinforcement, children are motivated to learn the correct meanings and pronunciations of words. you learn how to construct sentences by imitating adults and older children
reinforcement contingencies
rules that determine whether responses lead to reinforcement
freudian theory. happens when you are keeping distressing thoughts and feelings buried in the unconscious mind. it is very easy to create "memories" of events that never occurred, however there is no evidence to prove if the memories are true or not. they can be recovered through hypnosis but this can increase memory distortion but at the same time make people more confidant about what they remember. they have also been recovered through therapists' dream interpretations- highly subjective and cannot be verified. false dream interpretations can lead the subjects to believe events that didn't actually normally remember
symbolic sounds and words that represent objects, actions, events and ideas.; comes with rules for combining symbols to generate an infinite variety of messages. symbols used have no relationship to their meaning. structure helps to combine the words to make sentences in a certain way
higher order conditioning
a conditioned stimulus becomes the unconditioned stimulus and the organism now learns from that stimulus
stimulus that is linked to other information at the same time it was encoded (i.e. thinking of examples to illustrate what you're learning)
anterograde amnesia
loss of memories for events that occur after the onset of amnesia
problems of inducing structure
solving these problems requires people to discover relations among numbers, words, symbols or ideas
fixed ratio
the reinforcer is given after a number of non reinforced responses
primary reinforcers
reinforcement that satisfies biological needs
language acquisition device
apart of the nativist theory that proposes that humans are equipped with this mechanism or process that facilitates the learning of language (i.e. humans learn language because we are biologically equipped for it). reasons for this belief- children acquire languages easily and quickly, language development unfolds at the same time pace for most children, early course of development is similar cross culturally
decay theory
states that memories fade with time. researchers have not been able to demonstrate that decay causes long term memory forgetting
speech 18 -24 months
ability to say between 3 and 50 words. toddlers can understand 50 words, before they can say 50 words. vocabulary spurt often begins around this time.
holistic cognitive style
East Asian cultures display this type of style that focuses on the context and relationships among elements in the field. see things as a whole
fixed interval
reinforcer given after a certain time has passed
the degree to which a person is socially and psychologically integrated into a new culture
unnecessary constraints
common obstacle in problem solving. occurs when people place rules against problems that are not even stated
escape learning
behaviour that decreases/ends aversive stimulation
unconditioned response
unknown response to the original stimulus
speech in the first six-18 months
crying, cooing, laughter, followed by babbling (putting together many repetitive consonant-vowel sound combinations)
conditioned response
response evoked by the second stimulus
avoidance learning
response that prevents aversive stimulation from occuring
trying to remember something that was never learned/encoded (usually due to lack of attention)

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