Psych Chapter 10


used to communicate- spoken, written, gesture


rules of language- semantics + syntax


when things are happening- how we derive meaning


distinct sounds- no meaning


smallest unit that carries meaning


order of words/phrases to get meaning- different for different languages

Babbling stage

babies start making sounds- around 4 months

One-word stage

children speak one word at a time- 1 year old

Two-word stage

children speak 2 words at a time- 2 years old

Telegraphic speech

children say 2 words- you can understand what it means

Operant conditioning

language is acquired by association, imitation, and reinforcement

Inborn universal grammar

prewired to acquire language- brains are ready at birth

Statistical learning and critical periods

exposure to language at an early age

Noam Chomsky

inborn universal grammar

Benjamin Whorf

linguistic determinism

Linguistic determinism

what we hear determines the way we think

Category hierarchies

from very broad to very specific concepts- breaking down


never changes. ex: a triangle has three sides

Trial and error

try different possibilities to solve problems until you find a solution- downside is it takes a long time


ah-ha moment- sudden realization of solution

Exaggerated fear

intense fear of something that will most likely never occur


mental grouping of similar objects events, ideas, people


best example of something within a category

Problem solving

how we think in order to solve complex problems


step by step strategy for solving problem- methodical


guesses- shortcut --> quick, solution could be wrong- can end up being an obstacle

Availability heuristic

latest example of something that affects your behavior

Representativeness heuristic

judging the likelihood of things/objects in terms of how they seem to represent a prototype

Belief bias

preexisting beliefs distort logical reasoning --> invalid conclusions

Belief perseverance

even in the face of contrary evidence, you still think your original beliefs

Mental set

tendency to approach a problem in a particular way, especially if it has been previously successful- blinds new alternatives

Functional fixedness

only see the familiar way to use an object

Confirmation bias

selectively search for + consider information that confirms your beliefs


fail to see a solution to the problem from another perspective


the way a problem is presented can change the way we view a problem