Unit 7B - Cognition: Thinking, Problem Solving, Creativity, and Language - pages 298-322

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APA Content Standard Area: Memory

APA Content Standard Area: Thinking
After concluding this unit, students understand:
1. Basic elements comprising thought
2. Obstacles related to thought
Content Standard 1: Basic elements comprising thought
1.1 Define cognitive processes involved in understanding information.
1.2 Define processes involved in problem solving and decision making.
1.3 Discuss non-human problem-solving abilities.
Content Standard 2: Obstacles related to thought
2.1 Describe obstacles to problem solving.
2.2 Describe obstacles to decision making.
2.3 Describe obstacles to making good judgments.

APA Content Standard Area: Language Development
After concluding this unit, students understand:
1. Structural features of language
2. Theories and developmental stages of language acquisition
3. Language and the brain
Content Standard 1: Structural features of language
1.1 Describe the structure and function of language.
1.2 Discuss the relationship between language and thought.
Content Standard 2: Theories and developmental stages of language acquisition
2.1 Explain the process of language acquisition.
2.2 Discuss how acquisition of a second language can affect language development and possibly other cognitive processes.
2.3 Evaluate the theories of language acquisition.
Content Standard 3: Language and the brain
3.1 Identify the brain structures associated with language.
3.2 Discuss how damage to the brain may affect language.

Key Terms

Concept prototype
Algorithm heuristic
Insight creativity
Confirmation bias fixation
Mental set functional fixedness
Overconfidence representativeness heuristic
Availability heuristic belief perseverance
Intuition framing
Language phoneme
Morpheme grammar
Semantics syntax
Babbling stage one-word stage
Two-word stage telegraphic speech
Linguistic determinism


- heuristics

One Minute Brain Teasers

Can you solve these visual thinking problems?

The Tower of Hanoi puzzle


Watch Genie: Secrets of a Wild Child, answer and discuss questions (applies to language acquisition, conditional learning, nature vs. nurture, social isolation, brain science, sleep study, ethics, research, critical learning period of development). Connect to unit 1 standards

Problem Solving

Functional Fixedness - use of a paperclip?

McGyver Mastercard

In this Mastercard commercial from the “Priceless” campaign, action television character MacGyver escapes using a car air freshener. He uses a tube sock to slide down a line, and starts a stalled truck with a paper clip, ballpoint pen, rubber band, tweezers, nasal spray, and turkey baster. How do the actions of television character MacGyver relate to the concept of functional fixedness?

The Monty Hall Problem

Koko the talking gorilla

Teenage with Broca's aphasia

Wernicke's Aphasia

Broca's Aphasia

Ali G interviews Noam Chomsky

Gnome Chomsky the Garden Noam

Extra Credit

My Head is Spinning

  • Create three multiple choice items to assess understanding of three different concepts in this unit
  • Do three "blank cartoons" illustrating different concepts from this unit
  • Create one cartoon of your own that demonstrates a concept in this unit