from month 08/2009

How much of a difference does culture make ?

In my latest post, I mentioned a very nice study that looked at differences in face-processing between East Asians and Westerners. Though it made a couple of fascinating points, the study also claimed that Asian culture strongly hindered Asians from understanding Western emotions. In fact, their ...

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Japanese smileys vs. Ekman faces

Some medias and the blogosphere (see here, here and here) are celebrating a new study published in Current Biology, allegedly showing that recognition of facial expressions is not universal. Psychological universalists and relativists never seem to get tired of chewing that old bone of conten...

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How cultural is cultural epidemiology? 2- Cultural embedding

This is the second part of Christophe's series of posts on what culture does to culture (the first post is here). Most cultural phenomena are embedded in other cultural phenomena. For one thing, any cultural phenomenon takes place within a community that already has many traditions, cultural ...

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Meaning in sounds?

Disclaimer: I'm venturing far, far, from my domain of expertise, supposing I even have such a thing. I know nothing about psycholinguistics (i.e., I need to be reminded on a regular basis about the difference between a phoneme and a morpheme). Please feel free to point out the inevitable ...

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Linguistic Epidemiology – Part 1, Units of analysis

In his insightful post ‘Is language a replicator?’ (June 1, 2009), Nicolas Claidière usefully critiques a recent review article by Mark Pagel on evolutionary approaches to language change (Nature Reviews Genetics Vol. 10, June 2009). Pagel’s paper (and Nicolas’s ...

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