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Psychology Ch. 10 Objective Questions

By omgabc Apr 10, 2014 1310 Words
Connor Tom
AP Psychology P.6

Ch. 10 Objective Questions

1. Describe the nature of concepts and the role of prototypes in concept formation.
We use concepts to simplify and order the world around us. We divide clusters of objects, events, ideas, or people into categories based on their similarities. In creating hierarchies, we subdivide these categories into smaller and more detailed units. We form other concepts, such as triangles, by definition (three-sided objects). But we form most concepts around prototypes, or best examples of a category. Matching objects and ideas against prototypes is an efficient way of making snap judgments about what belongs in a specific category.  

2. Discuss how we use trial and error, algorithms, heuristic, and insight to solve problems. 
An algorithm is a time-consuming but thorough set of rules or procedures (such as a recipe for cookies, or a step-by-step description for evacuating a building during a fire) that guarantees a solution to a problem. A heuristic is a simpler thinking strategy (such as running for an exit if you smell heavy smoke) that may allow us to solve problems quickly, but sometimes leads us to incorrect solutions. Insight differs from both because it is not a strategy-based solution, but rather an Aha! reaction—a sudden flash of inspiration that solves a problem.

3. Describe how the confirmation bias and fixation can interfere with effective problem solving.
 The confirmation bias predisposes us to verify rather than challenge our hypotheses. Fixation, such as mental set and functional fixedness, may leave us doggedly pursuing one line of reasoning and prevent us from taking the fresh perspective that would let us solve the problem.  

4. Explain how the representativeness and availability heuristics influence our judgments. The representativeness heuristic leads us to judge the likelihood of things in terms of how they represent our prototype for a group of items. The availability heuristic leads us to judge the likelihood of things based on how vivid they are or how readily they come to mind. Either of these two thinking shortcuts can cause us to ignore important information or to underestimate the chances of something happening.  

5. Describe the effects that overconfidence and framing can have on our judgments and decisions.
 The main drawback of overconfidence is that our tendencies to seek confirmation of our hypotheses and to use quick and easy heuristics can blind us to our vulnerability to error—a fault that can be tragic if we are in a position of responsibility. But on a personal level, overconfident people tend to live happier lives, make difficult decisions more easily, and seem more credible.  

6.  Explain how our beliefs distort logical reasoning, and describe the belief perseverance phenomenon.
We tend to judge conclusions that agree with our beliefs as more logical than those that do not match our beliefs. This belief bias can lead us to accept invalid conclusions and reject valid ones. Belief perseverance is clinging to our ideas because the explanation we once accepted as valid lingers in our mind even after it has been discredited. The best remedy for this form of bias is making the effort to consider evidence supporting the opposite position.  

 7. Describe artificial intelligence, and contrast the human mind and the computer as information processors.
Although it sometimes leads us astray, human intuition can be remarkably efficient and adaptive, giving us instant help when we need it. As we gain expertise in a field, for example, we grow adept at making quick, shrewd judgments. Smart thinkers will welcome their intuitions but check them against available evidence, hoping to avoid overconfidence and biased and illogical thinking. Mind and computer process input from the environment, only humans truly think and feel. Computers excel at tasks that require manipulation of large amounts of data. Unlike the human brain, which can process unrelated bits of information simultaneously, most computers process information serially (in sequence). A new generation of computer neural networks has been designed to more closely simulate the brain’s interconnected neural units and their functions. Compared with conventional artificial intelligence systems, neural network computers show greater capacity for parallel processing and “learning” from experience.

8. Describe the structure of language in terms of sound, meaning, and grammar. 
All languages have the same basic structural units. Phonemes are the basic units of sound in a language. Morphemes are the elementary units of meaning; some (such as I) are words, but most are elements such as prefixes (anti-) or suffixes (-ing).Grammar is the system of rules (mental rules, not those taught in English classes) that enable us to communicate and understand others. Semantics, which is part of grammar, is a set of rules for deriving meaning in a given language. Syntax, also a part of grammar, is a set of rules for ordering words into sentences.  

9. Trace the course of language acquisition from the babbling stage through the two-word stage. 
At about 4 months of age, infants babble, making a wide range of sounds found in languages located all over the world. By about 10 months, their babbling contains only the sounds found in their household language. Around 12 months of age, babies speak in single words. This one-word stage evolves into two-word (telegraphic) utterances before their second birthday. Shortly after that, children begin speaking in full sentences. The timing of these stages varies a little from one child to another, but all children follow this sequence.  

10. Explain how the nature-nurture debate is illustrated in the theories of language development. 
Behaviorist B. F. Skinner (representing the nurture side of the language-development debate) proposed that we learn language by the familiar principles of association (of sights of things with sounds of words), imitation (of words and syntax modeled by others), and reinforcement (with smiles and hugs after saying something right). Challenging this claim, linguist Noam Chomsky (representing the nature position) argues that we are born with a language acquisition device that biologically prepares us to learn language. He cites as evidence the species-wide presence of language and its underlying universal grammar; children’s amazing rate of acquiring vocabulary; and the uniform sequence of the stages of language development. Statistical learning is the ability to detect speech patterns (such as syllable breaks). Childhood is a critical period for learning spoken and signed language: Children who do not learn language during this early period lose their ability to fully master language.  

11. Discuss Whorf's linguistic determinism hypothesis and the relationship between thought and language.
 Although the linguistic determinism hypothesis suggested that language determines thought, it is more accurate to say that language influences thought. Words convey ideas, and research on people who are bilingual demonstrates that different languages embody different ways of thinking. Studies of the effects of the generic pronoun he show that subtle prejudices can be conveyed by the words we choose to express our everyday thoughts. Some evidence indicates that vocabulary enrichment, particularly immersion in bilingual education, can enhance thinking.   

12. Describe the research on animal cognition and communication, and discuss the controversy over whether animals can use language.
 Both humans and the great apes form concepts, display insight, use and create tools, transmit cultural innovations, and have a theory of mind (including the capacity for reasoning, self-recognition, empathy, imitation, and understanding another’s mind). Bees dance to communicate the direction and distance of food, parrots sort items by number, and dogs comprehend and respond to complicated human commands. Several species of apes have learned to communicate with humans by signing or by pushing buttons wired to a computer. These apes have developed vocabularies of hundreds of words, have communicated by stringing these words together, and have taught their skills to younger animals, who—like humans—tend to acquire the skills most easily and thoroughly if taught them at a very young age. Nevertheless, research reveals an important difference between apes’ and humans’ facilities with language: Only humans can master the verbal or signed expression of complex rules of syntax.

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