The language you speak changes the colors you see?

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The language you speak changes the colors you see

by Olivia Goldhill



Quote:These words don’t simply reflect what we see, but multiple experiments suggest they influence our perception. In one recent study, published in Psychological Science and reported by the British Psychological Society, researchers showed groups of Greek, German, and Russian speakers (103 people in total) a rapid series of shapes, and were told to look out for a grey semi-circle. This semi-circle appeared alongside a triangle in different shades of blue and green, and participants later reported whether they saw a complete triangle, a slight or strong impression of the shape, or didn’t see it at all.

Researchers found that Greek and Russian speakers, who have dedicated words for light and dark blue, were more likely to see a light blue triangle against a dark blue background (and vice versa), than they were to identify green triangles against green backgrounds. Speakers of German, which has no such distinction, were no better at seeing shades of blue triangles than green.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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Interesting.

Terence McKenna hypothesized that the world is made of language, and that the words we know and understand shape how perceive our respective realities.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
~ Carl Jung


If validated, it would lend support to at least a weak version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis which most linguists scoff at but seems to have been pushed away too early IMHO.. Academics are slow to accept new thoughts.
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