201168399256 - PSYCHOLOGY 166AC Professor Kaiping Peng Lecture 15 ASUC Lecture Notes Online is the only authorized note-taking service at UC

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PSYCHOLOGY 166AC Professor Kaiping Peng 03/08/11 Lecture 15 ASUC Lecture Notes Online is the only authorized note-taking service at UC Berkeley. Do not share, copy or illegally distribute (electronically or otherwise) these notes. Our student-run program depends on your individual subscription for its continued existence. These notes are copyrighted by the University of California and are for your personal use only. D O N O T C O P Y Sharing or copying these notes is illegal and could end note taking for this course. ANNOUNCEMENTS Your review sheet will be ready and online on Thursday. All of the notes are online now. LECTURE Culture and Meaning Systems (Cont’d). The first part of the class asks the question, “What is culture?” One answer to the questions is, “Culture is a meaning system”. It helps us make sense of our daily environment. We talked last time about color and language and how language may affect our color systems, which is a very elementary form of cognition. Higher Levels of Cognition. How much does language affect higher cognition? I want to talk about counting numbers, memory, language, and high level counterfactual reasoning. Different languages have different number terms across cultures; number properties and values are tied to language. In English we count 1 to 12 and then get into the “teens” from 13 to 19. The French language does this differently. In Asian languages, the change starts at 10. East Asians and Arabs are better at counting than the English and French. We should keep in mind that culture is malleable and changes, and education can affect this. What about visual memory and language? The terms used to describe objects and relationships affect our memory of objects and relationships. Bartlett, 100 years ago, argued that the way you describe an object affects your memory of it. So culture affects your memory of what you see. Robinson recently did research to test the Whorf hypothesis by doing experiments with speakers of Dutch and an Aboriginal language, Guuga Ymithirr. In Dutch as in English, we orient ourselves by left and right, so this chair is to my left and that one is to my right. In the Aboriginal language, they orient themselves in terms of east and west, not left and right. So spatial relations are designated as to the east or the west; they are not defined relative to where the person is located. They had both groups of speakers go to a room and look at a table facing north that had three objects represented on it, a pig, a cow and a person in that order from left to right. They were told to remember the spatial relations of the object. Then they went to a new room and looked at a table facing south and they had the same 3 objects on it and were told to arrange the objects in the way they saw it in the other room. They arranged the 3 objects in opposite ways. The Dutch repeated the left to right
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2011 for the course PSYCH 166AC taught by Professor Peng during the Spring '11 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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201168399256 - PSYCHOLOGY 166AC Professor Kaiping Peng Lecture 15 ASUC Lecture Notes Online is the only authorized note-taking service at UC

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