psych chapter 8

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33 Terms
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concept

the mental representation of an object, event, or idea

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categories

clusters of interrelated concepts

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rule-based categorization

categorizing objects or events according to a certain set of rules or by a specific set of features

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graded membership

the observation that some concepts appear to make better category members than others

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sentence verification technique

A technique in which the participant is asked to indicate whether a particular sentence is true or false. For example, sentences like "An apple is a fruit" have been used in studies on categorization.

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exemplar

a specific example that best represents a category

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prototype

mental representation of an average category member

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semantic network

interconnected set of concepts and the links that join them to form a category

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basic-level categories

moderately specific categories

unique qualities:

  • used most often in conversation

  • easiest to pronounce

  • levels at which prototypes exist

  • level at which most thinking occurs

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superordinate categories

more general, less descriptive

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subordinate-level categories

very specific

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priming

the activation of individual concepts in long-term memory

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lexical decision task

A procedure in which a person is asked to decide as quickly as possible whether a particular stimulus is a word or a nonword.

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category specific visual agnosia

Patients with damage to the temporal lobes sometimes have trouble identifying certain categories of objects.

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folk biology

the ways people in various communities and cultures think about the natural world in their daily lives.

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research on north americans vs japanese people

People raised in North America tend to focus on a single characteristic, whereas Japanese people tend to view objects in relation to their environment.

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Whorfian hypothesis

the theory that the language we learn influences how we think

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problem solving

accomplishing a goal when the solution or the path to the solution is not clear

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algorithm

problem-solving strategies based on a series of rules

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heuristics

problem-solving strategies that stem from prior experiences and provide an educated guess as to what is the most likely solution

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nine dot problem

The goal of this problem is to connect all nine dots using only four straight lines and without lifting your pen or pencil off the paper.

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mental set

is a cognitive obstacle that occurs when an individual attempts to apply a routine solution to what is actually a new type of problem

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functional fixedness

the tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions; an impediment to problem solving

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Benign Violation Theory

Theory about humor dating from 1998, popularized by Peter McGraw, that posits that something is funny when it seems wrong or unsettling but is actually harmless.

eg: friend falling down the stairs. isnt funny if friend is hurt, is funny if its benign, so now you laugh

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parts of brain activated during humour

ncongruity detection and resolution activated areas in the temporal lobes and the medial frontal lobes (close to the middle of the brain). Elaboration activated a network involving the left frontal and parietal lobes

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conjunction fallacy

when people think that two events are more likely to occur together than either individual event

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representativeness heuristic

making judgments of likelihood based on how well an example represents a specific category

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availability heuristic

making a decision based on the answer that most easily comes to mind

eg: when asked if "there are more words starting with letter K" or if "there are more words with K as the 3rd letter" we choose that there are more words with K as first letter because more words with first letter K come to mind

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anchoring effect

occurs when an individual attempts to solve a problem involving numbers and uses previous knowledge to keep the response within a limited range

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belief perseverance

tendency to stick to our initial beliefs even when evidence contradicts them

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confirmation bias

a tendency to search for information that confirms one's preconceptions

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satisficers vs. maximizers

good enough vs best possible outcome

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paradox of choice

the observation that more choices can lead to less satisfaction Barry Schwartz

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