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PSYC 309 (42)
Todd Handy (35)
Lecture 7


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PSYC 309
Todd Handy

Lec 7 NYT article When Language Can hold the answer -showed students clay creatures with prominent heads, pointy limbs, students identified which were friendly or not; unfriendly had lumpy heads friendly had smooth; after each guess they told student if right or wrong 2 groups: one control, one group told that friendly labeled ‘leebish’ unfriendly ‘grecious’ (or vice versa) Found that groups using labels learned difference btw friendly and unfriendly faster :. Naming helps create mental categories -does language shape what we perceive or our perceptions purely sensory? -usually language enhances thinking but can also screw us up -english separates blue and green, most other languages don’t; do only English speakers see them as different? Mixed results: say color terms influence ppl during or after perception Consensus: color labels probably don’t affect color perception in a systematic way -Study: Russian and English speakers look at three blocks of color and say which two are the same; Russian has different words for dark and light blue, English only has blue If shown 2 dark and 1 light Russian speakers responded faster than 3 dark or 3 light English speakers responded same no matter the mix of shades Another condition: made subjects do a task while color-matching If non-verbal task, Russian speakers still had advantage; If verbal task, response slower :. Speed or reactions bc language actively involved in identifying colors during the test -hypothesis: language is dominant on left side of brain then it should affect color perception in right visual field Study: showed 12 same-colored squares to English-speaking subjects, except an odd square that was either a different shade of same color or different color altogether; Right visual field: if odd square was different color then quick to identify it; if different shade slower Left visual field: different color or same color different shade didn’t affect response time -Study: many circles with ‘5’ in them, one circle with ‘2’, subjects told to ‘find the target’ or ‘find the two’ ‘find the two’ subjectsfaster Subjects told to ‘ignore the distracters’ or ‘ignore the 5s’ ‘ignore the 5s’ subjects faster -Home-sign children are deaf from birth and never taught sign language, usually don’t invent gestures for location Study: card put into box 1 and kids told to find where the card would be in box 2; kids without words for spatial relationships did worse Young hearing children who heard words like ‘I’m putting the card in the middle’ did better than if they heard ‘I’m putting the card here’ -study: Amazonian tribe understood and manipulated geometric relationships for which they had no words as well as English speakers so lack of spatial language did not hinder ability to solve spatial problems -language necessary to count past a specific point and deal with large specific numbers Study: asked home-signers who were never taught how to count to lay out the same number of discs as there were on the table in front of them; If 1-3 discs home-signers got it every time; if more they got it right approximately (ex put 5 or 6 instead of 4) -subitization: ability to count numbers at a glance; monkeys have it too, home-signers must be using it -study: showed pics of tables and chairs, asked some to indicate by button if it’s a table or chair, asked some to tell if they like the pic or not; those who used words to label the objects had a harder time remembering if they had seen that specific chair before -language helps us learn novel categories, but after a category has been learned it can distort the memory of specific objects Journal article (add prof title) LEC 7s: Do English and mandarin speakers think about time differently? Abstract -mandarin speakers more likely to think about time vertically than English speakers (earlier time points above, later time points below) Introduction -people u
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