Chapter Review

We learned earlier in the chapter that the brain is central to sensing and perceiving our world but culture is at the heart of thinking. Culture shapes how we perceive information, evaluate the information and use the information in our daily life.

We organize the world into networks of information that are stored and used to interpret new experiences. This knowledge can be represented into hierarchical concepts with superordinate, basic, and subordinate categories. We hold information in short-term memory and process it using networks of information in long term memory; some from episodic experiences and some from more formal semantic knowledge. Intelligence is among the oldest and longest studied topics in all of psychology. The development of assessments to measure this concept is at the core of the development of psychological science itself. The way we perceive, remember, and think about the world we live in is influenced by our culture.


Accommodation is a cognitive adaptation that occurs when schemas must change when new information is presented

Analytic Perception: A pattern of perception characterized by processing information as a sum of the parts. Analytic perception promotes analytic thinking.

Assimilation is a cognitive process that occurs when we change information in order to make it fit within our schema; with this conflict schema is less likely to change

Attention is the process of filtering information from sensation into perception and cognition.

Basic level categories is found at the generic level which contains the most salient differences (e.g., dog, apple).

Bottom-up perception occurs when we build up to perception from the individual pieces.

Categories are formed when concepts are ranked as subordinate, basic and superordinate levels

Concepts refer to information that is later organized and categorized

Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out information that favors or confirms existing beliefs and expectations; outcome of assimilation

Crystallized intelligence is characterized as acquired knowledge and the ability to retrieve it.

Culture-Fair Test is an approach to measure intelligence that, in theory, intends to test intelligence in an equally fair way across all cultural groups. Fairness indicates a lack of bias in the assessment, interpretation, and use of data obtained from these measurements.

Dispositional attribution is an explanation of people’s behavior as a result of internal factors that reside within.

Encoding input of information into the memory system

Episodic memory is a type of long-term memory about events taking place at a specific time and place in a person’s life.

Fluid intelligence encompasses the ability to see complex relationships and solve problems.

Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE) is a bias that makes individuals incorrectly label others. Their behavior is attributed to set negative personal flaws. This error makes individuals underestimate the role of external factors

G-Factor is the notion that intelligence is a singular underlying cognitive aptitude or intellectual ability that is representative of a person’s general intellectual potential.

Holistic Perception: A pattern or perception characterized by processing information as a whole. This pattern makes it more likely to pay attention to relationships among all elements.

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a total score that is derived from a standardized test of intelligence.  Historically, an IQ score is calculated by dividing a person’s mental age (MA) by the person’s chronological age (CA) and multiplying by 100 to avoid decimals. Thus, the formula: IQ=(MA/CA) X100.

Long-Term memory is the part of the memory system in which information can be permanently stored for an extended period of time. It has a large to unlimited capacity and a duration that may last from minutes to a lifetime.

Memory is a system or process that stores what we learn for future use and refers to lots of different abilities

Multiple intelligences is the notion that there is not a singular underlying general intelligence. According to this theory all people vary in terms of levels of strength across a diverse group of specific domains that expand beyond cognitive domains

Perception is the process of organizing or interpreting sensory information into awareness.

Perceptual Illusions is a subjective misinterpretation of sensory stimuli from its objective nature.

Schema are knowledge representations that include information about people, groups or situations; when activated schemas are useful for making predictions and decisions.

Semantic memory is the type of long-term memory about general facts, ideas, or concepts that are not associated to emotions and personal experience.

Sensation is the process that allows energy from the world to be translated as neural signals through the five senses: vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.

Sensory memory storage of brief sensory events, such as sights, sounds, and tastes

Short-Term memory is the part of the memory system in which information can be temporarily stored in the present state of awareness. This type of memory is limited to 7 items of capacity and 7 to 30 seconds of duration on average.

Storage is the creation of a permanent record of information

Superordinate level of categories is at the top of a taxonomy and it has a high degree of generality (e.g., animal, fruit).

Subordinate level of categories is specific degree and has little generality (e.g., Labrador retriever, Gala).

Top-down processing occurs when something that we’ve experienced in our past influences how we process new experiences.


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Culture and Psychology Copyright © 2020 by L D Worthy; T Lavigne; and F Romero is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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