Interviews with psychologists at Edge.org
In the past few days, Edge.org has posted two interviews of cognition-and-culture interest:
– With Lera Boroditsky on "How does our language shape the way we think?" She says: "For a long time, the idea that language might shape thought was considered at best untestable and more often simply wrong. Research in my labs at Stanford University and at MIT has helped reopen this question. We have collected data around the world: from China, Greece, Chile, Indonesia, Russia, and Aboriginal Australia. What we have learned is that people who speak different languages do indeed think differently and that even flukes of grammar can profoundly affect how we see the world. Language is a uniquely human gift, central to our experience of being human. Appreciating its role in constructing our mental lives brings us one step closer to understanding the very nature of humanity."
– With John Bargh, a video interview entitled "The simplifier". He says: "We discovered a new vein of research – the relation between physical and social or psychological concepts – that we came to by taking evolutionary principles seriously and applying them to psychology. We weren't using evolutionary psychology, which has largely been focused on mating and reproduction. Our focus, rather, was in terms of evolutionary biology and the basic principles of natural selection: and that field makes clear that humans must have had these kinds of mechanisms or these processes to guide our behavior prior to evolution or emergence of consciousness."