PSYC 256 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Color Term, Determinism, Haemodynamic Response

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13 Jun 2018
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LANGUAGE & THOUGHT
Language and Thought
How are language and thought related?
o Are inner speech and thought the same thing?
Does our language affect how we perceive the world?
o Can two people who speak different languages communicate effectively?
The Reciprocal Relationship Between Language and Experience
*** See slides *** ///////
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
A theory of the relation between language, perception, and cognition
Simple version:
o Language is fundamental to the way we think and understand the world
o Therefore, the particular language of an individual will influence his or her
thought
o Different languages will create different patterns of thought
Linguistic Determinism: the language we use to some extent determines the way in
which we view and think about the world around us
Linguistic Relativity: people who speak different languages perceive and think about
the world quite differently from one another
There is no thought without language
Cultural differences in thinking are the direct result of differences in languages
o Speakers of different languages see the world in different, incompatible
ways, because their languages impose different conceptual structures on
their experiences
Weak Sapir-Whorf
Language influences thought
Languages differ not so much as to what can be said in them, but rather as to what
it is relatively easy to say
Testing the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
Testing the strong view
o See if the cognitive system can make distinctions that are not linguistically
represented
Testing the weaker view
o See if language influences thought in predictable and reliable ways
Color Perception
If your language didnt have separate names for these, would you see them the same
way?
Color labels artificially transform a continuous property into categorical values
There are a few languages which have only two color terms, and some with three
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