Sunday, June 19, 2011

Power and Perspective Taking

From Perlman & Miller (2009):

Powerful people are not very good at comprehending other people's point of view and taking their perspective: "If you ask powerful people to quickly drawn an "E" on their foreheads, they are much more likely than people of low power to draw the letter as if they were reading it, which makes it backward and illegible for anyone else - like this:"∃ " (Galinsky et al. 2006)"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

On The Human: Terrence Deacon - Rethinking The Natural Selection Of Human Language

I just stumbled across this interesting website called "On The Human." Its
"an online community of humanists and scientists dedicated to improving our understanding of persons and the quasi-persons who surround us. As persons are biological, psychological, historical, moral, and autobiographical beings, we employ modes of inquiry from the sciences and humanities. Contributors explore issues in metaphysics and biology, ethics and neuroscience, experimental philosophy and evolutionary psychology."
Anyway, there are some interesting articles at the interface of Cognitive Science, Evolution, and Language on the site, written by quite well-known researchers, and what's even more interesting is that there are often comments by other researchers. For example, there's an article by Terrence Deacon called Rethinking The Natural Selection Of Human Language which features a lively discussion including, among others, Mark Turner, Talmy Givón, Derek Bickerton, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Salikoko Mufwene.

There's also an article by Sue Savage-Rumbaugh called "Human Language - Human Consciousness", which focuses on her work with enculturated bonobos like Kanzi, Panzi and Panbanisha and also includes a very heated discussion of her claims.