Thought and Language
- Concepts, mental groupings of persons, events, or objects that share common properties, are stored in memory as semantic networks.
- Problems can be represented as images, mental representations of visual information, or mental models, which are intuitive theories about the way things work.
- Trial and error, algorithms, heuristics, and insight are four basic problem-solving processes.
- Difficulties in problem solving occur due to misrepresenting a problem; functional fixedness, which is thinking of objects only in terms of their usual functions; mental sets, which is continuing to return to a problem-solving strategy that worked in the past; confirmation bias; and belief perseverance.
- People can err when solving both syllogisms, which are logical problems where the goal is to determine the validity of a conclusion given two or more premises, and conditional-reasoning problems, which take the form of "if-then" statements.
- Various biases in judgement exist including the representativeness heuristic, a tendency to estimate an event's likelihood in terms of its typicality; the availability heuristic, a tendency to estimate an event's likelihood in terms of how readily it is recalled; the anchoring effect; the framing effect; and overconfidence.
- The universal properties of language are semanticity, which is concerned with the communication of meaning, generativity, which speaks to language's infinite possibilities for expression, and displacement, which is the capacity to communicate about things not in one's immediate awareness.
- Other characteristics of language include phonemes, morphemes, phrases, sentences, and syntax.
- Although there is evidence that apes can learn some aspects of language, there remains disagreement as to whether apes can produce language.
- There is evidence, according to the linguistic-relativity hypothesis, that language can shape thought.
- An example of how language influences thought is the impact that sexist language has on the way that people think about gender roles.