What is the Relationship Between Language and Thought
“What is language for?” • Communication & Private Speech • “The private uses of language are equally varied and important, including functions like • problem-solving • enhancing social intelligence by rehearsing the thoughts of others • memory aids • focusing attention, etc. They seem to extend into almost every domain of thought.” (Chomsky, Fitch and Hauser)
Language and Thought
Qs regarding the role of language in our thinking. • If we grant that we use language (inner or private) for thinking, how much do we rely on it in our daily life for thinking? • Are there thoughts that we can only entertain through language? • Does the specific language we speak influence our thinking? If so, how?
Qs regarding the role of language in our thinking. • Could learning the lexicon and grammars of one’s language lead to the development of new concepts? If so, how?
Cognitive Psychology Experiments Language Influence on: • Problem Solving • Memory and Associations • Categorization
Symbolic Systems (Language is one) • What’s the answer to: – Twenty three times five hundred seventy-one. • How did you solve the math problem? • Buses 1, 2, and 3 make one trip each day, and they are the only ones that riders A, B, C, D, E, F, and G take to work. – Neither E nor G takes bus 1 on a day when B does. – G does not take bus 2 on a day when D does. – When A and F take the same bus, it is always bus 3. – C always takes bus 3. • Traveling together to work, B, C, and G could take which of the same buses on a given day? • How did you solve this problem? Answers: A. 1 only B. 2 only C. 3 only D. 2 and 3 only E. 1, 2, and 3
Baddeley (1986) Slave Systems Central Executive Visuospatial Sketchpad Phonological Loop
Language and Problem Solving Baddeley, Thomson, & Buchanan (1975) • Read the list of 5 countries to yourself • Then try to recall the list • There are two such lists.
List 1 Chad, Burma, Greece, Cuba, Malta
List 2 Czechoslovakia, Somaliland, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia
Which list was easier? • Our recall is dependent on the number of syllables we can say quickly (Vallar & Baddeley, 1982). • Study shows: Verbal rehearsing is a strategy that we use to maintain things (here names) in active memory. A list of places with more syllables takes longer to rehearse than one with fewer syllables.
Vallar & Baddeley (1986) • Different Types of Lists: – 1 Syllable Words: • “tan, man, sin, hop, wax” – 2 Syllable Words: • “market, table, lesser, picket, garden” • Subjects: – Read words aloud (as quickly as possible) – Recall list of words.
Vallar & Baddely (1986) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 %Correct 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Number of Syllables %Correct 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3 1.5 1.7 1.9 2.1 2.3 2.5 Reading Rate Reading Rate • Reading rate has the same functional relation as % Correct with respect to the number of syllables in the words!
Summary Maintaining Information - memory • Visually encoded information (image) decays at a faster rate than verbally encoded information. (estimates 1s vs.
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- Spring '16
- Ravi Banavar
- 1984, Linguistic relativity, Levinson