Cognition: (Thinking) the mental activities associated with
thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating.
Concept: a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or
Prototype: a mental image or BEST example of a category (e.g., a
prototypical "bird" may be a robin).
Artificial Intelligence (AI): the science of designing and
programming computer systems to do intelligent things and to simulate
human thought processes, such as intuitive reasoning, learning, and
Algorithm: a methodical, logical rule or procedure that
guarantees solving a particular problem.
Heuristic: a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to
make judgments and solve problems efficiently; usually speedier but also
more error-prone than algorithms.
Insight: a sudden and often novel realization of the solution to
a problem; it contrasts with strategy-based solutions.
Obstacles to Problem Solving
Confirmation Bias: a tendency to search for information that
confirms one's preconceptions.
Fixation: the inability to see a problem from a new perspective.
Mental Set: a tendency to approach a problem in a particular way,
especially a way that has been successful in the past but may or may not
be helpful in solving a new problem.
Functional Fixedness: the tendency to think of objects only in
terms of their usual functions.
Making Decisions and Judgments
Representativeness Heuristic: judging the likelihood of things
in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular
prototypes; may lead one to ignore relevant information.
Availability Heuristic: estimating the likelihood of events based
on their availability in memory; if instances come readily to mind
(perhaps because of their vividness), we presume such events are common.
tendency to be more confident in our judgments that correct---to
overestimate the accuracy of one's beliefs and judgments.
Framing: the way in which an issue is posed (or worded); this can
significantly affect decisions and judgments.
Belief Bias: the tendency for one's preexisting beliefs to
distort logical reasoning, sometimes by making invalid
conclusions seem valid, or valid conclusions seem invalid.
Belief Perseverance: clinging to one's initial conceptions after
the basis on which they were formed has been discredited.
Language: our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we
combine them to communicate meaning.
Phoneme: in spoken language, the smallest distinctive sound unit.
Morpheme: in language, the smallest unit that carries meaning;
may be a word or part of a word (like a prefix).
Grammar: a system of rules that enables us to communicate with
language and understand each other.
Semantics: the set of rules by which we derive meaning from
morphemes, words, and sentences; also the study of meaning.
Syntax: the rules for combining words into grammatically sensible
Babbling Stage: beginning at 3-4 months, the stage of speech
development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at
first unrelated to the household language.
One-word Stage: the stage in speech development, from about age 1
to age 2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words.
Two-word Stage: beginning at about age 2, the stage in speech
development during which a child speaks mostly two-word statements.
Telegraphic Speech: speech
stage in which a child speaks like a telegram--"go car"--using mostly
nouns and verbs and omitting "auxiliary words (like "the" and "a").