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achievement test  A measure of an individual's degree of accomplishment in a particular subject or task based on a relatively standardized set of experiences
algorithm  Procedures, such as mathematical formulas, that automatically generate correct solutions to problems
aptitude test  A measure of a person's ability to profit from further training or experience in an occupation or skill; usually based on a measure of skills gained over a person's lifetime rather than during a specific course of study
availability heuristic  A rule of thumb used to make likelihood judgments based on how easily examples of that category of events come to mind, or are "available" in memory
belief bias  The tendency to abandon logical rules and to form a conclusion based on one's existing beliefs
cognitive process theories  Approaches to intelligence that analyze the mental processes that underlie intelligent thinking
concept  Mental categories containing similiar objects, people, and events
confirmation bias  The tendency to seek and favour information that reinforces our beliefs rather than to be open to disconfirming information
construct validity  The extent to which a test measures the psychological construct (e.g., intelligence, anxiety) that it is purported to measure
content validity  The extent to which test items adequately sample the domain that the test is supposed to measure (e.g., intelligence, mathematical reasoning)
crystallized intelligence  Intellectual abilities that depend on a store of information and the acquisition of particular skills; compare to fluid intelligence
deductive reasoning  Reasoning from a general principle to a specific case
deep structure  A linguistic term that refers to the underlying meaning of a spoken or written sentence; the meanings that make up deep structure are stored as concepts and rules in long-term memory
displacement  The capacity of language to represent objects and conditions that are not physically present
divergent thinking  A creative form of thinking that involves the generating of novel ideas that diverge from the normal ways of thinking about something
emotional intelligence  Ability to respond adaptively in the emotional realm by reading and responding appropriately to others' emotions, to be aware of one's own emotions and have the ability to control them, and to delay gratification
factor analysis  A statistical technique that permits a researcher to reduce a large number of measures to a small number of clusters or factors; it identifies the clusters of behaviour or test scores that are highly correlated with one another
fluid intelligence  The ability to deal with novel problem-solving situations for which personal experience does not supply a solution; compare with crystallized intelligence
functional fixedness  A phenomenon often found in problem-solving tasks in which the customary use of an object interferes with its use in a novel situation
heuristics  A method of problem solving characterized by quick and easy search procedures similar to rules of thumb
imaginal thought  A form of thinking that uses images that can be from any sense modality
incubation  A phenomenon in which the solution to a problem suddenly appears in consciousness after a problem solver has stopped thinking about it for a while
inductive reasoning  Reasoning that proceeds from a set of specific facts to a general conclusion or principle
intelligence  A concept that refers to individual differences in the ability to acquire knowledge, to think and reason effectively, and to deal adaptively with the environment
intelligence quotient (IQ)  Originally defined as mental age (MA) divided by chronological age (CA) multiplied by 100 (IQ 5 (MA/CA) 3 100); an IQ of 100 indicates an individual is average for his or her age group. IQ scores are today based on norms derived from people of various ages
interjudge reliability  The extent to which different observers or scorers agree in their scoring of a particular test or observed behaviour
internal consistency  The extent to which items within a psychological test correlate with one another, indicating that they are measuring a common characteristic
knowledge-acquisition components  Allow us to learn from our experiences, store information in memory, and combine new insights with previously acquired information
language  A system of symbols and rules for combining them that can produce an infinite number of possible messages and meanings
linguistic relativity hypothesis  The idea, suggested by Benjamin Whorf, that people's language determines the ways in which they perceive and think about their world
means-end analysis  A heuristic problem-solving device in which people first define a subgoal that they hope to achieve (and "end"), compare that subgoal with their present state of knowledge and, if there is a discrepancy between them, try to find the means to reduce the difference
mental age  The age determined by a "standardized interview'' in which an adult examiner poses a series of questions to a child to determine the mental level at which a child is performing
mental representations  Cognitive representations of the world, including images, ideas, concepts, and principles, that are the foundations of thinking and problem solving
mental set  The tendency to stick to problem-solving strategies or solutions that have worked in the past
metacomponents  Higher-order processes used to plan and regulate task performance (triarchic theory)
morpheme  The smallest unit of meaning in a given language; English morphemes include whole words, prefixes, and suffixes; there are over 100,000 English morphemes
motoric thought  Mental representations of motor movements, such as throwing an object
normal distribution  A frequency distribution in the shape of a symmetrical or bell-shaped curve that satisfies certain mathematical conditions deduced from the theory of probability
performance components  The actual mental processes used to perform a task (triarchic theory)
phoneme  The smallest unit of sound in a language; these are the vowel and consonant sounds that are recognized in any given language; English has 45 phonemes
predictive validity  The ability of a test to predict future outcomes (e.g., academic performance) that are influenced by the characteristic measured by the test (e.g., intelligence)
primary mental abilities  Include spatial ability, perceptual speed, numerical ability, verbal meaning, memory, verbal fluency, and inductive reasoning; these were defined by L. L. Thurstone on the basis of his factor analysis of intelligence test items
problem-solving schemas  Step-by-step scripts for selecting information and solving specialized classes of problems
proposition  A statement that expresses an idea in subject-predicate form
propositional thought  A form of linguistically based thought that expresses a statement in subject-predicate thought
prototype  The most typical and familiar members of a class that defines a concept
psychological test  A method for measuring individual differences related to some psychological construct, based on a sample of relevant behaviour obtained under standardized conditions
psychometrics  The study of the statistical properties of psychological tests; the psychometric approach to intelligence focuses on the number and nature of abilities that define intelligence
reaction range  The genetically influenced limits within which environmental factors can exert their effects on an organism
reliability  In psychological testing, the consistency with which a measure assesses a given characteristic, or different observers agree on a given score
representativeness heuristic  A rule of thumb in estimating the probability that an object or event belongs to a certain category based on the extent to which it represents a prototype of that category
savant  A person who is intellectually disabled but shows some striking mental ability, such as being able to mentally compute complex mathematical problems
semantics  The rules for connecting the symbols to what they represent
standardization  In psychological testing, refers to (1)
stereotype threat  The anxiety created by the perceived possibility that one's behaviour or performance will confirm a negative stereotype about one's group
subgoal analysis  A problem-solving heuristic in which people attack a large problem by formulating subgoals, or intermediate steps toward a solution
surface structure  A linguistic term for the words and organization of a spoken or written sentence; two sentences may have quite different surface structure, but still mean the same thing
syntax  The rules for the combination of symbols within a given language
telegraphic speech  Two-word sentences that consist of a noun and a verb
test-retest reliability  The extent to which scores on a presumably stable characteristic are consistent over time
triarchic theory of intelligence  Sternberg's theory of intelligence that distinguishes between analytical, practical, and creative forms of mental ability
validity  The extent to which a test actually measures what it is supposed to measure; the degree to which a diagnostic system's categories contain the core features of the behaviour disorders and permit differentiation among the disorders

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