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Which one of the following can be said to be true of language?
The psychology of language is concerned with the organization and processing of both written and spoken language. It is a complex field, at the interface of pure psychology, linguistics and communication studies. And as we examine how language is processed, it will soon become clear just how complex and mysterious the process is. For instance, a colleague of mine recently mentioned that he was feeling ‘low’ because he had just received some severe criticisms of a paper he had written. Why did I know immediately what he meant? Why did I not think he was simply nearer to the ground?
When related sentences are put together to make a sensible message, this is referred to as _________.
Discourse refers to the overall message produced by combining related sentences whereas the alternative answers above do not refer to this process.
Which of the following statements about interpretation of language is correct?
There are two principal classes of phenomena that obviously require more than literal meaning. One is indirect speech acts, like the salt example above. The other is metaphor and related phenomena. For instance, if I say ‘Adolf Hitler was a butcher’, I do not mean it literally. Similarly, if I say ‘John is really blue (or low) today’, I do not mean that he is covered in blue dye, or has shrunk in height. I mean that he is depressed. We appear to process many metaphors so readily that it is difficult to see what the problem is, but the processing problem is huge: not only does the processor have to parse sentences, but she has to determine their significance too. The psychology of language understanding is about just these issues. Finally, interpretation proceeds by linking language to our knowledge about people and situations.
Which of the following statements about Swinney’s 1979 experiment is FALSE?
Swinney (1979) presented participants with spoken passages like these: (a) ‘Mary needed to buy some presents, so she went to the bank’; (b) ‘Mary found the river cold, so she swam to the bank.’ Immediately after the presentation of the ambiguous word, he presented a single letter string on a screen. Participants had to decide whether the letter string was a word or not (a lexical decision). When the string was a word, it could either be related to the intended sense of the ambiguous word (e.g. ‘money’), related to the other sense (e.g. ‘mud’), or unrelated to either. The question was whether there would be a response-time advantage for the intended-sense associate alone, or whether there would also be an advantage for the other-sense associate of the word too. It turned out that there was equal advantage (priming) for both senses. So context did not appear to affect initial sense selection. But if there was a delay of only 300 ms between hearing the ambiguous word and reading the letter string, the priming effect remained only with the intended (contextually cued) sense. This work suggests that word-meaning information is initially stored in a modular fashion, and its retrieval is uninfluenced by context. On the other hand, very shortly after a word has been processed, contextual cues inhibit the activation of word-sense information that is inappropriate.
The common term used to describe all types of language loss is ________.
Aphasia is the term used to describe all types of language loss. Dyslexia refers to a specific reading impairment. Dysphasia refers specifically to partial language loss. Lexphasia is not a term used to describe language loss.
According to Lakoff, metaphors have a significant influence in how we think and understand our social worlds. Which of the following examples below is not an example of a metaphor?
A good book is like a good meal is an example of a simile, not a metaphor. The alternative answers are all examples of metaphorical expressions.
Research studies that examine people’s responses on the Watson Selection test, the military problem puzzle and speak-aloud protocols have demonstrated that reasoning about problems is strongly influenced by ____________.
Representation of the problem is crucial to how reasoning takes place and each of the protocols mentioned in the question above demonstrate the significance of participants’ initial representation of the problem on how they subsequently reason through it. The alternative answers do not represent the common factor that underlies the findings from the different research protocols mentioned in the question above.
Which one of the following statements are true of the Wason Selection, or four-card problem (Wason, 1966)?
A very important way of testing if–then statements is known as the Wason Selection or four-card problem (Wason, 1966). In this task, the participant is given a rule, and four cards are laid out that have information written on both sides. For example, here is a rule: If a card has a vowel on one side, then it has an even number on the other side.
Card 1: A
Card 2: D
Card 3: 4
Card 4: 7
The task is to verify (i.e. test) whether the rule holds by turning over the two cards that will enable this to be determined. Which cards would you turn over to verify the rule? Try it before you continue reading. The most frequent response is to check A and 4. Turning A will provide information that is consistent with the rule if there is an even number on the other side of the card, and will falsify the rule if there is an uneven number, so that’s fine. But turning 4 will achieve nothing, because the rule does not say, ‘If a card has an even number on one side, it will have a vowel on the other.’ Turning this card is very much like confirming the antecedent. In fact, the crucial second card to turn is the card with the 7, because if this has a vowel on it, then the rule is false. This problem is hard to think about. But real-life versions can be much easier. For instance, here is another rule: If a student is drinking beer, then they are over 18.
Card 1: Over 18
Card 2: Drinking beer
Card 3: Drinking Coke
Card 4: Under 18
How would you test the rule? Most people would now think the crucial card to turn was ‘Under 18’, because if that had ‘Drinking beer’ on the other side, there is a clear violation of the rule. This is because testing for under-age drinking is an example of detecting cheating, which is something we appear to be good at (Cosmides, 1989; Gigerenzer & Hug, 1992). The argument is that we have social rules to live by, and that we are naturally attuned to be able to test whether these rules are being broken. Clearly the representation of the problem is crucial to how reasoning takes place. When a concrete form of the problem is used, we can bring in specific procedures that we have access to for detecting cheats, which is something that is socially important. With an abstract version of the task, this is not possible.
All of the following qualities describe reasoning by intuition except for ____________.
Reasoning based on intuition is not logical; it is automatic, fast, based on conviction and difficult to justify to others.
While considerable research suggests that human’s exhibit relatively poor reasoning ability, what reasons have been given to be critical of this research?
All of the answers included above represent critiques of some of the cognitive research that suggests people cannot reason rationally.