The power of language: How words shape people, culture - Deepstash

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The power of language: How words shape people, culture

The power of language: How words shape people, culture

https://news.stanford.edu/2019/08/22/the-power-of-language-how-words-shape-people-culture/

news.stanford.edu

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Language: a primary tool for understanding human behavior

Language: a primary tool for understanding human behavior

Language is integral to how we express and communicate in everyday life.

Understanding how people use language - what words and phrases they choose to combine - can give us insight into ourselves and why we behave the way we do.

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How language is interpreted

According to research, slight differences in language can reveal biased beliefs of the speakers.

For example, saying "girls are as good as boys at math" can imply that being good at math is more common for boys than girls.

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Other languages inform our own

There are about 7,000 languages worldwide. Each language reflects the culture of the people who speak it.

Studying other languages and how they develop over time can help scholars understand the unique ways we communicate with one another.

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Language informs behavior

Speech patterns correlate to particular behaviors. This includes how language can influence people's buying decisions or social media use.

When we understand what groups of people say and why, it can help to bring those people together.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The problem with "No worries"

When you use “No worries” or “No problem” the phrase can actually have the opposite effect: just saying the word “problem” introduces the possibility that the situation wasn...

The problem with “Anyone could do it”

A self-deprecating language that minimizes your expertise can backfire, depending on who hears it.

You need to stop giving your power away.

Speaking like a boss

It means becoming multilingual by balancing the languages used among your team with the languages that the people above you grading your performance understand.

One solution to correct any potential wrong assumptions is to over-communicate about what you meant.

Taking offense

Taking offense

Most of us have felt offended at a remark. However, we have probably also experienced the shock of finding out that others were offended by our comments, even if we had no intention of hurting ...

Three types of expectations

Our expectations are mostly formed in the context of our relationships with others. When they are breached, we tend to feel offended.

  1. Foreseeability expectations. They drive us to expect others to predict the potentially negative impact of their words and actions: "I did not expect to hear this from my friend."
  2. Reciprocity expectations. They are based on hoping that our favours or kindness are returned in kind.
  3. Equity expectations. They are about our desire to be treated fairly and equally.

Taking offense outside personal relationships

We often take offense outside our personal relationships—for example, a comment on Facebook that ridicules or questions something we find important or of value.

We use our values and beliefs to make judgements. Our belief in specific values may be an important part of our identity and explains why we take offense when those values are not respected.

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Metaphors

Metaphors

Metaphors use familiar objects and phenomena to help think through and talk about abstract ideas.

Although metaphors can illustrate ideas and provide insight, they can also...

Metaphors shape our actions

Some studies suggest that one in every 25 words we use is a metaphor. The choice of metaphor can form the way we see the world and act upon it.

In a series of experiments, participants were given two identical reports about crime, except that one report described the crime as "a wild beast preying on the city" and the other "a virus infecting the city." When asked for solutions, those who read the first report suggested stricter law enforcement, while those who read the second proposed social reforms.

The role of metaphors

Metaphors, like “trickle-down economics” and “red wall,” help frame the issues and also our responses to social and political discussions.

When politicians compare the national economy to a household budget, they want us to think in specific ways about national debt or policies of austerity.

Metaphors also play a role in science. Science accepts that metaphors can be limiting, but admit that they are an essential tool for thinking.