8.1 thought and language: elements of thought Flashcards Preview

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grouping by similarity helps...

simplify things and gives us short cuts when we encounter unfamiliar examples



mental representations of specific objects, events, or ideas (like types of desert)



larger groups of concepts based on their similarity to one another
(cakes, and pies)


memory stores knowledge of categories

so that we can treat varieties of things, like cups ,in a similar way


classical categorization approach

we group together objects and events into categories bc they share common defining features
the con: there is a lot of variability, there is no must have features of tables, that also distinguish tables from members of other categories like stools or benches
all members in a category doesn't satisfy the must have this or that, but all members in a category does TEND to have


we don't rely on defining features,

but on typical features, to group members of categories together

ex. most birds fly and have feathers, but a hairless bird or flightless bird is not impossible


because they are grouped according to typical features, categories have...

graded membership
some members are better representatives than others


sentence verification technique

participants are presented with statements and are given the task of identifying each statement as true or false as quickly and accurately as possible
verifying a sparrow is a bird or salmon is a fish is faster than verifying a penguin is a bird or an eel is a fish because sparrow and salmon are more typical members of their category than penguin and eel
relies on semantic network and things higher in the hierarchy depends on the speed of responses



the average of all members of a category
-even when we have never seen anything quite like it before we can compare unfamiliar objects to our mental prototypes to determine which category it belongs to


semantic network

connections bw categories and their typical features and also connects them in a hierarchy
connections bw similar concepts with be stronger and closer together than dissimilar concepts
intermediated level/ basic level: we rely on this category most during everyday convo. ex. bird, fish
highest level called superordinate level: too general to be useful ex. animal, furniture
lowest level is called subordinate level: dont normally require this level of specifity ex. robin, emu, trout


prototypes and semantic networks vs. specific experiences

ppl tend to categorized based on specific exemplars they have seen rather than based on abstract lists of symptoms
which is normally wrong because they might look more like a different category than they are actually part of


linguistic relativity or the whorfian hypothesis

the idea that differences in languages bw culture change the way members of those cultures actually perceive the world
such concepts can be easily captures in english through the simple method of adding additional words
there is no evidence that such differences in language alter the perceptions of members of different cultures


cultural differences in categorization

different cultural differences categorize things differently
Canadian students paired cows and chicken
Japanese students paired cows and grass
it seems that the cultural bias of americans is to group based on a single object characteristic whereas the cultural bias of Japanese is to group based on how objects interact with their environment


we all have the capacity to organize everything we know about the world according to

this sort of organized network of knowledge would represent a tiny piece of what we know

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