Linguistic relativity

Words for Thought: How Language Influences Our Thinking (Or Doesn’t)

Many decades ago, two linguists, Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf, formulated a radical new idea for its time: the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, a controversial idea arguing that language can shape the way humans think. It had been an appealing proposal, especially during the mid-20th Century, when psychologists, philosophers, and the literati alike became obsessed with the […]

I Spy with My Culturally Shaped Eye

At some point in your life, perhaps at the eye doctor or during a check-up by the school nurse, you have probably been asked to look at Ishihara plates, images comprised of colored dots forming numbers against a dotted background. The Ishihara Color Test, named for its creator, is used to test for red-green color […]