Interpreting someone’s utterance often requires attending not just to its content, but also to the surrounding context. What does a speaker know or not know? What did she intend to convey? Children in multilingual environments have social experiences that provide routine practice in considering the perspectives of others.
Posts Tagged: psychology
Word by word, and brick by brick, I began understanding the foundation of myself—of where I had been, and where I would go—from previously unseen angles.
Over at Brevity’s nonfiction blog, Lauretta Zucchetti shares her experience of finding herself and overcoming emotional pain through the writing process....more
(n.); an unwell feeling, particularly in the head; a moody depression; c. 1918, from Nevil Shute’s The Rose and the Rainbow
The archetype of the mad genius dates back to at least classical times, when Aristotle noted, “Those who have been eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, and the arts have all had tendencies toward melancholia.”
—“Secrets of the Creative Brain,” Nancy C.
The words we never think about reveal a lot about what we’re saying. Filler words—this, though, I, an, and, that, and there—are so common we never really think about them, but they give away a lot of information....more
Psychologists believe that the brain has two complementary modes of thought. If you’re curious about the difference between system 1 (fast mode) and system 2 (slow mode), check out this Guardian review of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Because it’s never too late in the week to be reminded of our self-delusions....more
You know when psychology and reading enthusiasts join forces and deliver good news about the merits of leading a literary life?
This is one of those moments! In a recent study, some researchers at the University of Buffalo found that reading fiction is positively correlated with empathy, using the official Twilight/Harry Potter Narrative Collective Assimilation Scale, which quantified how much undergrads internalized these narratives....more
The exhaustion of decision-making is now scientifically validated.
This essay looks at how decision fatigue, or “ego depletion,” manifests, in examining settings such as the courtroom, the grocery store, and even Ceasar’s decision to march on Rome. Decision fatigue can significantly weaken will-power, lower glucose levels, making people being less likely to compromise and more likely to choose the “default option.”
“The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways....more
“Men and women use language differently because they negotiate their worlds differently. Across dozens and dozens of studies, women tend to talk more about other human beings. Men, on the other hand, are more interested in concrete objects and things.”
An article in Scientific American is towing the line between linguistics and psychology, deconstructing the differences in how we use language....more
Allison Flood at the Guardian has dug up an article from the journal Psychological Science showing that reading surrealism may actually make people smarter.
In the study, some subjects were given Kafka’s “A Country Doctor,” and others were given a rewrite of that story that “made more sense.” Those who read Kafka did better in the test researchers gave afterwards, a test that asked people to find patterns in strings of letters....more
The 1971 experiment randomly assigned intelligent, normal, healthy young men to the role of prisoner or guard. What began as an investigation into the psychology of prison life quickly spun out of control....more