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How Language Can Shape the Way People Think and Behave

Content language learning

It is said that language is to the mind more than light is to the eye. Language shapes the way people think and determines what they can think about. Benjamin Lee Wolf experimented with the hypothesis of states that language shapes the way we behave and think. Many have entertained this kind of thought including linguists, psychologists, philosophers and many more, with all of them expressing strong opinions on its legibility. The shapes in Spanish and English phrases and other languages differ. While some languages have words for some things, other languages lack exact words for such things.

Language and Culture

Language shapes culture and culture shapes language. Language provides a powerful lens on the culture of people; the assumptions, beliefs, and the way they operate and work even in organizations. Where practitioners of culture and leaders want their organizations to evolve and grow, establishing the use of a language that supports the aspired lifestyle is a significant milestone, amongst the key tasks.

Principles on how language can shape culture

Language is a powerful component that creates and shapes culture as highlighted below;

  • Language pitch regarding the aspired cultural maturity is necessary, with the language performing the role of supporter and bridge to the new ways
  • Evolution and refining of already existing practices concerning the new emerging maturity stage and new language
  • Assessment of how ready the organization is for the new language

Shapes in Spanish and English have variable definitions on the way people think. For instance, it is often stated in English that a person has broken a vase whether it was an accident or not. Spanish speakers indicate that the vase broke itself. A study reveals that English speakers were able to remember much more who accidentally broke eggs, spill drinks and pop balloons as compared to Spanish speakers.

There is a correlation between focus agents in English and criminal-justice, bent towards the punishment of transgressors rather than reinstitution of the victims. This reveals that language shapes culture and culture shapes language. It also falls in line with the hypothesis of states that language shapes the way we perceive things, the way people think. This shows that the shapes in Spanish and English not only affect how they express or reflect on their thoughts but also shape ideas they would like to express.

Does the way people think influence how they talk?

An even more fascinating question on cross-linguistic findings is how we know if differences in languages we speak create the differences in our thoughts, or is it our thoughts that influence the way we talk? It is a fascinating finding that it this works both ways. Studies have shown that changing how people speak influences their thoughts too; language shapes culture and culture shapes language. For instance, teaching them new colour words changes how they discriminate colours. Showing a new way on how to talk about time gives new thoughts about the way people think.

Language plays a significant role in filtering perception, attention, and memory. Every time we interpret or construct a sentence, we need to focus on the statement and the specific aspects described by it. Very interestingly, brain imaging facilities already confirm the hypothesis of states that language shapes the way people think. For instance, authors have proved that language does affect our categorical colours perception.

Bilinguals get all the perks from a cognitive boost, better prospects of job and dementia protection. Research reveals that they view the world differently depending on the language they are using at that moment.

Different words encoding colour discrimination provoke faster and stronger responses in people of the left hemisphere more than colour discrimination being encoded by the same word. The existing structures in our languages have therefore profoundly shaped the way we construct reality.

People who speak different languages indeed do think differently. Even the flukes in our grammar profoundly affect our world perception and perspective. Being a unique gift of humans, it is the core of human experiences. The hypothesis of states that language shapes the way people think is therefore of no doubt.