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Lecture 11

PSY315 lecture 11.docx

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Craig Chambers

PSY315 (11) Challenges in exploring whether/how language affects thinking 1.  What exactly is meant by ‘language’? 2.  What exactly is meant by ‘thinking ? 3.  What exactly is meant by 'affects influences /constrains' ?! 4.  How can we test the issues scientifically? LOTS of controversy on this topic; little in the way of firm conclusions Starting point: 4 ways to help frame the question! 1) !a. does Thought (in general) REQUIRE Language? if not. b. does Language (in general) INFLUENCE thought? 2) a. does knowing a specific language CONSTRAIN !how we think? if not b. does knowing a specific language have a more subtle INFLUENCE on how we think? (Core idea here: thinking is a kind of internal monologue.) Various folk speculations are often used to support this idea BUT: what about 'smart' behaviours observed in... • animals? • prelinguistic children? So, does thinking require language? (are the two one and the same?) NO The weaker alternative: (1b) Does language (in general) influence thinking ? • commo
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