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CHAPTER 8: LANGUAGE AND THOUGHT A) LANGUAGE: TURNING THOUGHTS INTO WORDS - Cognition: The mental process involved in acquiring

knowledge A.1) WHAT IS LANGUAGE? - Language consists of symbols that convey meaning, including rules for combining those symbols and can be used to generate an infinite variety of messages - Language is symbolic: people use spoken sounds and written words to represent object, action, event, idea - Language is semantic: meaningful - Language is generative: a limited number of symbols can be combined in an infinite variety of ways to generate an endless string of messages - Language is structured : there are rules that govern certain arrangement into phrases and sentences A.2) THE STRUCTURE OF LANGUAGE - Human languages have hierarchical structure A.2.1) PHONEMES (a unit) - smallest speech units in a language that can be distinguished perceptually - some speech units are represented by combination of letters A.2.2) MORPHEMES AND SEMANTICS - Morphemes: smallest units of meaning in a language (it works like suku kata) - Semantic: concerned with understanding the meaning of words and word combinations > words meaning may consist: detonation (dictionary meaning) and connotation (emotional overtones and secondary implication) A.2.3) SYNTAX - a system of rules that specify that how words can be arranged into sentences > rules: in a sentence must contain verb and subject A.3) MILESTONES IN LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT A.3.1) MOVING TOWARDS PRODUCING WORDS - infants can distinguish between all phonemes including of that they never hear in own environment - infants learn very fast in understanding the sound structure. However, before the learn to speak, this ability decreases Figure: Janet Werker - argues that babies have perceptual biases that assist the acquisition of phonology > babies attend more to speech sound rather than complex nonspeech analogue sounds - ability may come from listening to speech while in utero - also study babies in bilingual homes - suggests that: perceptual sensitivities assist infants in separating their two languages

- infants can discriminates phonemes that arent inherent in their language context but this facility disappears without exposure -- as infants turn into 1, their language acquisition is tuned to their native language - Werker developed: PRIMIR (Processing Rich Information from Multidimensional Interactive Representations) a model of infant speech processing A.3.2) USING WORDS - for infants, their receptive vocab is bigger than productive vocab; they can understand more than they can use the words to express themselves > they can understand something before they can actually pronounce it -toddlers can easily understand noun than verb because to encode the noun (concrete, distinct) is easier than to encode verb (the meaning behind the action, possess abstract relationship) - vocabulary spurts at 18-24 months > they learn about 20 new vocabs every week > one of the factors: fast mapping: children map a word onto underlying concept after one exposure BUT, mistakes may occur - Overextension: children attribute the word to a wider set of function that covers larger set of object/action that it is supposed to - Underextensions: children attribute the word to a lesser set of function that covers larger set of object/action that it is supposed to A.3.3) COMBINING WORDS - Telegraphic speech: use only words that determine the content. Prepositions, articles and less critical words are omitted Overregularization: when grammatical rules are used wrongly on words that dont use the same grammatical rules - Kids dont master their grammar in an instant, but they acquire it gradually A.3.4) REFINING LANGUAGE SKILLS - largest mastery: initial four to five years - progress with metalinguistic awareness: the ability to reflect the use of language - Irony: conveying message that contradicts the statements literal meaning - Sarcasm: variation of irony with the intended meaning directed to a specific person A.4) LEARNING MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE: BILINGUALISM - Bilingualism: the acquisition of two languages that use different speech sounds, vocabulary and grammatical rules

A.4.1) DOES LEARNING TWO LANGUAGES IN CHILDHOOD SLOW DOWN LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT? - studies: bilingual kids have smaller vocab in each of the language but when combined together, the total vocab is the same or more than monolingual kids - recent studies: learning 2 languages can facilitate with the acquisition of a 3rd language > bilingual kids are better language learners A.4.2) DOES BILINGUALISM AFFECT COGNITIVE PROCESSES AND SKILLS? - Disadvantages: raw language processing speed - Advantages: better in the measure of cognitive flexibility, analytical reasoning, selective attention and metalinguistic awareness Figure: Ellen Bialystoks there are some cognitive advantages to bilingual kids 1) Bilingual kids develop better control over executive process earlier than monolingual 2) Bilingual adults are better in cognitive tasks that include executive processing 3) Executive process is one the first cognitive abilities that decline with age, the rate is slower for bilingual users due to their continued reliance on this process Other discoveries: difficult to be distracted with misleading statement, eventhough speak or write in one language, both languages remain active Conclude: bilinguals develop the ability to juggle between the two languages Executive processing involves selective attention, attentional inhibition to ditracting/misleading information, switching among competing alternatives Bilingual kids dont really perform on phonemic awareness Figure: Mark Howard - as proficiency increases, conceptual stores for both languages increasingly overlap Similar performance between mono and bi: task involving representational processes: encoding problems in sufficient detail and gaining access to relevant information

- Bilingual inherits dementia later than monolingual - Figure: Mechelli: bilingual shows an increase in the density of grey matter in the left inferior parietal cortex - Figure: Laura-Ann: early bilingual experience helps with the language organization in brain and it has positive effects on the brain development A.4.3) WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE THE ACQUISITION OF A SECOND LANGUAGE? - age: younger is better- language acquisition is more effective before 7 and improves to the age of 15 - acculturation: degree of association where a person is socially and psychologically integrate with a new culture - learners motivation and attitude: integrative motivation (willingness to be like the valued members of the language community) - Subsequent research: social psychological factors: +ve attitude toward the learning situation and an interest in the other language group A.5 CAN ANIMAL DEVELOP LANGUAGE?

- the subject (chimps) dont have the appropriate vocal apparatus - proceed with American Sign Language (ASL). The experiment succeed but doubt whether the animal really understands the language > argue: the result is a product of operant conditioning rather than spontaneous generation based on linguistic rules - Figure: Sue-Savage Rumbaugh, star pupil: Kanzi - bonobos are trained to communicate with their caretaker touching geometric symbols that represent words - Kanzi manages to use the word combination spontaneously that seem to follow the rule of language > seem to understand the normal utterance - flaws: the scoring system used is extremely generous - brain scan using PET shows some development in the hemisphere - Conclusion: language isnt entirely exclusive to the human But: theres never a direct comparison between humans linguistic abilities and those of apes or other animals A.6) LANGUAGE IN EVOLUTIONARY CONTEXT - Figure: Steven Pinker - special talent for language is a specific-specific trait that is the product of natural selection - language is a valuable means of communication that has enormous adaptive value - very small adaptive disparities could affect a significant evolutionary change - language may represent an adaptation for the communication of knowledge and intentions - Argument: language evolved as a device to build and maintain social coalitions in increasingly larger groups A.7) THEORIES OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION - concern about how language is acquired - whether it is by nature of nurtured? A.7.1) BEHAVIOURIST THEORIES - Figure: Skinner in Verbal Behaviour - use the principle of imitation and reinforcement to explain - language is learned through imitation - vocalizations that are not reinforced gradually decline in frequency and they are then reinforced to be correct - controlling reinforcement: parents that encourage their children to learn the meaning of language, correct pronunciation etc A.7.2) NATIVIST THEORIES - Figure: Noam Chomsky - Argue: infinite number of sentences in a language, impossible to learn by imitation - BUT: children learn the rules of language - Alternative view: humans have inborn (natural) ability to develop language

- Nativist theorists proposed that: language acquisition device (LAD) is an innate mechanism or process that facilitates the learning of language > Chomsky believes so because: children seem to acquire language quickly and effortlessly A.7.3) INTERACTIONIST THEORIES - They question what exactly is LAD as the concept is very vague - believes that biology and experience make important contribution to the development of the language - There 3 types of interactionist theorists: a) Cognitive theories: language development is simply an important aspect of more general cognitive development that depends on maturation and experience b) Social communication theories: emphasize the functional value of interpersonal communication and the social context in which language evolves c) Emergentist theories: neural circuits supporting languages are not prewired but emerge gradually in response to language learning experiences. > this theory tends to assume that incremental changes in connectionist networks underlie childrens gradual acquisition of various language skills A.8) CULTURE, LANGUAGE AND THOUGHT - Figure: Benjamin Lee Whorf - Linguistic relativity: ones language determines the nature of ones thought > How Inuit people perceive snow versus how the white perceives snow > this describes language gap - cultures colour categories shape subjects similarity judgments and groupings of colours - Conclusion: culture does affect how you think of a subject B) PROBLEM SOLVING: IN SEARCH OF SOLUTIONS B.1) TYPES OF PROBLEMS - Problem Solving: active efforts in achieving goals that are not attainable -Figure: Jim Greeno 3 basic classes of problems 1) Problems of discovering structure: failure to make relations between variables. Example: series completion problem and analogy problems RELATIONSHIP 2) Problems of arrangement: arrange information so as to fulfill a criterion. Example: string problems and anagrams - often solved with insight: sudden discovery of solution after several unsuccessful attempts by using the trial and error method STRUCTURING 3) Problem of transformation: needs several sequence of transformation to reach a specific goal. Example: hobbits and orcs problems and water jar problem TRANSFORMATION

B.2) BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING B.2.1) IRRELEVANT INFORMATION - Sternberg: often incorrectly assume that all numerical information in a problem is necessary to be solved B.2.2) FUNCTIONAL FIXEDNESS - Gestalt psychologists: functional fixedness is the tendency to perceive an item only in it terms of what is commonly used as (use brush to brush hair instead of brush teeth) - young children are less vulnerable to functional fixedness because they have less experience. So they dont know how most of things actually function as B.2.3) MENTAL SET (Rigid Thinking) - Occurs when people persist to use problem solving methodology that worked for them in the past - This also explains that how sometimes having experts to oversee some problems in the area of their expertise may also backfire and narrow the problem solving strategy B.2.4) UNNECESSARY CONSTRAINTS - dont assume constraints that dont exist B.3) APPROACHES TO PROBLEM SOLVING - Figure: Allen Newell and Herbert Simon - Problem space: A set of problem solving methods that have been considered by the problem solver B.3.1) USING ALGORITHMS AND HEURISTICS - Trial and Error Method: Eliminating many possible attempts until the solution is finally discovered HAPHAZARDLY - Algorithm: step-by-step procedure in finding a solution that might work SYSTEMATIC - guarantees that one can find the solution - need the person to outline all possible solutions - effective only if there are few possible solutions but not when the problem space is LARGE Because algorithm is inefficient, use shortcut called heuristics - Heuristics: guiding principle or rule of thumb used in problem solving or making a decision > allows to discard some alternatives > more likely to obtain a solution > narrow the space problem but doesnt guarantee success Helpful heuristics: forming subgoals, working backward, searching for analogies and change the representation of a problem B.3.2) FORMING SUBGOALS - subgoals: intermediate steps toward obtaining a solution > help problem solving more quickly > example: tower of Hanoi problem

B.3.3) WORKING BACKWARD - begin at the end and work backward - if start from the front, might face with many ambiguities (and irrelevant information) B.3.4) SEARCHING FOR ANALOGIES - ability to spot an analogy similar to previous problems may help in problem solving of a current problem - needs to recognize the problems similarity - people mostly have difficulty because: people tend to focus on the surface rather than the underlying structure B.3.5) CHANGING THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PROBLEM - success depends on the way a problem is imagined: verbally, mathematically, spatially > by drawing, change what the method focus to use END OF HEURISTICS METHODOLOGY B.3.6) TAKING A BREAK: INCUBATION - taking a break and doesnt think about it for a while - Incubation effect: a new solution surfaced after a momentary period of not consciously thinking about it > may occur in sleep > theorists: people may continue to work on a problem at an unconscious level B.4) CULTURE, COGNITIVE STYLE AND PROBLEM SOLVING - Figure: Herman Witkin - Field dependence-independence: individuals reliance on the external versus internal frames of reference in when orienting themselves in space Field dependent: tendency to depend on the external frame of reference which is the physical environment of the problem rather than trying to analyze or restructure the problem Depend on the context (the whole part) of the problem rather than the smaller, specific aspects Nourished by the Asian education holistic cognitive style: stresses on context and relationships among elements in a field see problems as whole Field independent: rely on the internal frame of reference and try to analyze and restructure the problem Depend on the specific feature and try to reorganize the parts of the problem Usually outperform field-dependent in classic laboratory problem Nourished by the Western education Analytic cognitive style : focuses on objects and their properties See parts Nisbett: the difference influences reasoning and problem solving , patterns of logical reasoning, vulnerability to hindsight bias, tolerance of contradictions

C) DECISION MAKING: CHOICES AND CHANCES -involves evaluating alternatives and make choice among them - Figure: Herbert Simon- people dont always live up to their goals C.1) MAKING CHOICE ABOUT PREFERENCES: BASIC STRATEGIES - more alternative increases the potential for rumination and post-decision regret - having to make a lot of decisions depletes mental resources and undermines subsequent selfcontrol - people prefer more choices up to a point and then further increases in options lead to decreased satisfaction with the situation ADDITIVE STRATEGY: list the attributes that influence the decision or weigh based on the importance ELIMINATION BY ASPECTS : eliminating less attractive alternatives C.2) MAKING CHOICES ABOUT PREFERENCES: QUIRKS AND COMPLEXITIES Attempts to explain why some decisions are unstable - Emotion influences decision making: - Comparative evaluations of options tend to yield different results than separate evaluations - No messing with uncertainties - Judgments about the quality of various alternatives i.e brand familiarity and price Other: Ap Djiksterhuis: Unconscious thought outperforms conscious thought . it is more superior in decision making Intuition can sometimes be superior to logic

C.3) TAKING CHANCES: FACTORS WEIGHED IN RISKY DECISIONS -Risky decisions: involve making decisions under the conditions of uncertainty - Subjective utility: how much an outcome worth to a person > used to explain why people gamble, take insurance > varies from one person to another - Subjective probability: if people dont know the actual probability, they depend on their personal estimation C.4) HEURISTICS IN JUDGING PROBABILITIES - Figures: Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman conducted research on heuristics (mental shortcuts) Availability heuristic: basing the probability of an event on the ease with which relevant instances come to mind E.g: estimate the rate of divorce by calculating from among friends, family or recall specific instances of the event. Weakness: if occurs very frequently, it is hard to retrieve from memory (wrong estimation of probability) Representativeness heuristics: basing the probability of an event on how similar it is to the typical prototype of that event (like how the process represented tend to emulate some kind of randomness and it is thought to yield some kind of probable result)

C.5) THE TENDENCY TO IGNORE BASE RATES - by using the representativeness heuristics, subject tends to assume x because of y (which is the prototype of events that usually occur). E.g: because a guy is well-built and fast runner, he is assumed to be a footballer when in fact, he is actually an accountant - this is the problem of underestimating a probability. E.g: predicting the success rate in a business when the available prediction probability indicated otherwise (not very successful) - tend to predict others better on oneself C.6) THE CONJUCTION FALLACY - the probability of a sub-category cant be higher than the broader category - conjunction fallacy: tendency for people to estimate the odds of 2 uncertain events are greater than the odds for either one to occur alone C.7) BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS - the approach > psychology: experimental methods of natural science > economics: humans motivated by rational (this would be the main focus) self-interest and use mathematical model Behavioral economics: study the effect of humans actual (not idealized) decision-making process on economics decision. Individual affects market

- Figure: Herbert Simon- humans dont live up to the goals of being systematic and rational - previous argument: people make rational choices to maximize their economic gains BUT - Theory of bounded rationality: people tend to use simple decision making strategies that focus only a few available options that result in irrational decisions that are less than optimal - Figures: Kahneman and Tversky produced Prospect Theory- a model of decision-making under uncertainty - they proved that humans are not fully rational when making decisions > due to framing: how decision making is structured - human thought is often biased by the law of small number and rely on availability and representativeness heuristics C.8) EVOLUTIONARY ANALYSES OF FLAWS IN HUMAN DECISION MAKING - Flaws: 1) humans are assumed as impeccable in applying the laws of deductive logic and statistical probability 2) humans seem rational because cognitive psychologists have been asking the wrong questions and formulate problems wrongly >> Figures: Leda Cosmides and John Tooby: human decision-making and problem-solving strategies are tailored to handle real-world adaptive problems

C.9) FAST AND FRUGAL HEURISTICS - Figure: Gerd Gigetenzer > humans reasoning depends on fast and frugal heuristics; simpler than complicated mental processes studied in traditional cognitive research - recognition heuristics: if one of the 2 alternatives is recognized, the alternative with known information has higher value Counter proposal by the traditional decision-making theories - dual-process theories: people depend on two different systems of thinking when making decisions > 1) intuitive thinking: quick, simple, effortless automatic judgment (similar to fast and frugal) >2) slower, more elaborate, effortful, controlled judgment: corrects and monitor intuitive judgment and takes over when complicated decisions appear UNDERSTANDING PITFALLS IN REASONING ABOUT DECISIONS D.1) The Gamblers Fallacy - the potential off an event that hasnt occurred yet increase if it hasnt happened yet >> reflects representativeness heuristic as it is asserts by observing an occurring event > this applies in general but doesnt apply specifically D.2) The Law of Small Numbers - results of small samples are representative of the population D.3) Overestimating the Improbable - tendency to overestimate dramatic but infrequent events that rarely occurs and its presence has been exaggerated by the media > demonstrates availability heuristics > people are often less afraid of asthma but afraid of dying from floods when statistics has shown that the probability of dying from the asthma attack is higher D.4) Confirmation Bias and Belief Perseverance - tendency to seek information that confirms ones decision and belief rather than seeking for information that makes ones decision and belief invalid > doctors diagnosis on patient - myside bias: tendency to evaluate evidence that inclined to ones opinions > opinion biased on nationality etc - belief perseverance: tendency to hold onto the existing belief eventhough evidence that discredits the idea has been shown D.5) The Overconfidence Effect -tendency to think that you know better than anyone else D.6) The Effects of Framing - framing: how decision issues are structured D.7) Loss Aversion - tendency to overestimate the impact of negative emotions

> e.g: the negative impact of losing something is higher than the positive impact obtaining something of equal value E) SHAPING THOUGHT WITH LANGUAGE E.1) Semantic Slanting - Semantic slanting: deliberate (intentional) action of choosing words to create a specific emotional response > demonstrates how government/politicians/advertisers manipulate words > may include stereotyping E.2) Name Calling - an attempt to neutralize a disagreement or avoid an unpleasant situation by name-calling > may influence your attitude: only a moron would do that - demonstrates the anticipatory name-calling > can also foster positive anticipatory name-calling