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70 Cards in this Set

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The mental manipulation of representations (such as road maps representing streets) of information of objects we encounter in our environments


Mental activity that includes thinking and understandings that result from thinking


The mental representations that have some of the physical characteristics of objects; they usually corresponds to images

ie) A family tree -> depicts relationships between the relatives

Analogical Representation

The abstract mental representations that do not correspond to the physical features of the objects or ideas

ie) the word "violin" = stands for a musical instrument. This is a representation because there is no correspondence between what a violin looks like, what it sounds like, and the letters and sounds that make up the word "violin"

Symbolic Representation

The mixture of both symbolic and analogical representation

ie) the visual of which is located further east: Reno,NV or San Diego, CA?

Symbolic: A city closer to the Pacific Ocean would be considered to be more west.

Analogical: Being able to form a mental image of the Southwest portion of the US

Mental Maps

Grouping things based on shared properties, reduces the amount of knowledge we must hold in memory = efficient way to think by saving information from being too repetitive


A mental representation that groups/categorizes objects, events, or relations around common themes.



A way of thinking about concepts: A category is characterized by a list of features that determine if an object is a member of the category

Defining Attribute Model

What are the downsides to the Defining Attribute Model? (There are 4)

1. Fails to capture how we organize things

2. Suggests that membership in the category is an all-or-nothing basis

3. Suggests that all attributes of a category are all equally important in defining the category

4.Suggests that no item is a better fit than any other


A way of thinking about concepts: within each category. There is a best example for that category

+: Allows for flexibility in the representation of concepts

-: A particular prototype can be chosen for different reasons

Prototype Model


A way of thinking about concepts: All members of a category are examples and together they form the concept and determine category membership. Any concept has no single "best" representation. The prototypes that have developed are members that we have encountered more often

Exemplar Model

Similar to prototypes and reinforce sexist or racist beliefs and stereotypes


Cognitive schemas that allow for easy, fast processing of information about people based on their membership in certain groups


A type of schema that operates at an unconscious level showing prescribed behaviors for females and males. Consequently creates a bias

Gender Roles

A common type of schema that helps us understand the sequence of events in certain situations. A schema that directs behavior over time within a situation. Dictates appropriate behaviors that are shaped by culture.

ie) going to the movies


Using information to determine if a conclusion is valid or reasonable


Attempting to select the best alternative among several others

Decision Making

Finding a way around an obstacle to reach a goal

Problem Solving

Using general rules to draw conclusions about specific instances using logic and assumptions (premise). Can be difficult to use due to our prior beliefs

Deductive Reasoning

A logical argument that consists of a premise and a conclusion


Using specific instances to draw conclusions about general rules by determining general principles from specific instances

ie) the scientific method

Inductive Reasoning


View people as optimal decision makers. We always select the option with the biggest gain

Normalative Model


States that we misinterpret and misrepresent the probabilities underlying many decision making scenarios even when we understand the probabilities, we have the potential to make an irrational decision

Descriptive Model

A normative model of how we should make decisions by considering the possible alternatives and choosing the most desirable one. To come to the most desirable one, must rank and prioritize options

Expected Utility Theory

Shortcuts (rule of thumb/informal guidelines) used to reduce the amount of thinking that is needed to make decisions. It allows for quick decisions and can result in bias


A procedure that if followed correctly, will always yield the correct answer

ie) a calculus formula, or a recipe


Th effect of presentation on how information is perceived. It emphasizes the potential loss/gain of at least one alternative can significantly influence decision making


Making a decision based on the answer that most easily comes to mind. The info that is easily retrieved and prototypes are readily available

Availability Heuristic

Placing a person/object in a category of that person/object is similar to one's prototype for that category

Representative Heuristic


1. A person's wealth affects their choices

2. Because losses feel much worse than gains feel good, a person will try to avoid situations that will involve loss

Prospect Theory

Losing is much worse than gaining is good

Loss Aversion

People are poor at predicting how they will feel about something in the future. They tend to overestimate the extent of negative events and their affects on the future because we only consider the immediate pain, eventually the pain blends into the background of everyday life

Affective Forecasting

Coined the theory of how having too many choices make people more miserable and that there are two types of people out there, the satificers and the maximizers


This type of person lives according to the philosophy that life is "good enough" and choose the option that sufficiently satisfies their needs. They would much rather take the good > best


This type of person seeks the best possible choice and hesitates to make decisions. They are paralyzed when having to make choices with equally attractive choices. To them making the wrong choice can have a tremendous impact/consequence. And generally they are more disappointed with their decisions and more likely to experience regret.


Problem solving method:

Identifying people's steps in solving a particular problem by examining the step-by-step process, typical errors, and how people decide on more efficient solutions

ie) The Tower of Hanoi

Organizing Into Subgoals

The sudden realization of a solution to a problem. The metaphorical mental light bulb


Studied whether nonhuman animals were capable for problem solving. Not only was the chimp able to solve the problem but was able to transfer the solution to similar problems and solve them quickly


Problem solving method:

A new way of thinking about a problem that aids it's solution, otherwise known as "thinking outside the box"


Problem solving method:

Problem solving strategies–such as functional fixedness–that have worked in the past and can create difficulties for problem solving

Mental Sets

A cognitive bias that limits a person to using an object in a way it is traditionally used

Functional Fixedness

What are the 4 problem solving strategies?


Working backwards

Analogical reasoning

Forming subgoals

The ability to use knowledge to reason, make decisions, make sense of events, solve problems, understand complex ideas, learn quickly and adapt to environmental challenges


Measuring intelligence focuses on how people perform on standardized achievement test


This type of psychometric test decides the current level of skills and knowledge an individual pertains


This type of psychometric test predicts what tasks one would be well suited for in the future


Developed a test for measuring each child's vocabulary, memory, and skills with numbers. Believed that the scores produced were consistent with the teacher's belief of the child's abilities and their grades


"Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale"

An assessment of a child's intellectual standing compared with that of same age peers; Determined by comparing the child's test scores with the average test score for children of each chronological age

Mental Age

An index of intelligence computed by dividing a child's estimated mental age by the child's chronological age, then multiplying this number by 100

Intelligence Quotient (IQ)


Items that are similar are clustered together. The clusters are known as "factors"

Factor Analysis

The idea that one general factor underlies intelligence

General Intelligence (g)


Intelligence that reflects the ability to process information, particularly in a novel or complex circumstances; Nonverbal, and declines steadily

ie) reasoning, drawing analogies, thinking quickly

Fluid Intelligence

Intelligence that reflects both the knowledge that one acquires through experience and the ability to use that knowledge; The ability to use cultural knowledge for problem solving, and grows steadily throughout an individual's adult years

ie) vocabulary, cultural knowledge

Crystallized Intelligence

The idea that there are different types of intelligence that are independent of one another

ie) musical intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic, linguistic, math/logical, spatial, intrapersonal, interpersonal

Multiple Intelligence


Showed that people are capable of being average, extraordinary, and mediocre in the different domains of intelligence

ie) Martha Graham, Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein


What are the three types of intelligence?




The type of intelligence that is measured by psychometric tests

ie) problem solving, completing analogies, figuring out puzzles

Analytical Intelligence

The type of intelligence where the ability to gain insight and solve novel problems, to think in new and interesting ways

Creative Intelligence

The type of intelligence that is dealing with every day tasks

ie) Figuring out whether the parking spot is big enough for your car, judging people, being an effective leader

Practical Intelligence

A form of social intelligence that emphasizes the abilities to manage, recognize and understand emotions and use emotions to guide appropriate thought and action. Correlates with the quality of social relationships

Emotional Intelligence

External factors that affect intelligence?

Childhood nutrition

Education/ Access to education

Prenatal factors

Postnatal factors (family, social class, cultural beliefs)

IQ scores have risen dramatically during the last century of testing. Since genes can't have changed that much within the last century, the increase must be due to environmental factors

The Flynn Effect

Apprehension about confirming negative stereotypes related to one's own group. The fear that their performance on a test might confirm negative stereotypes about their racial group, causing distraction, anxiety, interferes with performance, undermining confidence and motivation

Stereotype Threat

An example of cognitive bias in which people react to a particular choice in different ways depending on how it is presented

Framing Effect

Choices are influenced by the relative value people assign to two or more payoffs at different points in time. Most choices requires decision makers to trade off costs and benefits at different points in time

Inter-Temporal Discounting

The reluctance of a person to accept a bargain with an uncertain payoff rather than another bargain with a more certain, but a possibly lower, expected pay off

Risk Aversion

The search of greater volatility and uncertainty in investments in exchange for anticipated higher returns

Risk Seeking

Occurs when it is assumed that specific conditions are more probable than a single general one

Conjunction Fallacy

When people are faced with evidence for and against their beliefs, they will more likely accept the evidence that supports their beliefs with little scrutiny yet criticize and reject that which disconfirms their beliefs

Disconfirming Evidence

A psychological phenomenon that explains why people tend to seek out information that confirms their existing opinions and overlook/ignore information that refuses their beliefs

Confirmation Bias