Ineffability, the degree to which percepts or concepts resist linguistic coding, is a fairly unexplored nook of cognitive science. Although philosophical preoccupations with qualia or nonconceptual content certainly touch upon the area, there has been little systematic thought and hardly any empirical work in recent years on the subject. We argue that ineffability is an important domain for the cognitive sciences. For examining differential ineffability across the senses may be able to tell us important things about how the mind works, (...) how different modalities talk to one another, and how language does, or does not, interact with other mental faculties. (shrink)
According to widespread opinion, the meaning of body part terms is determined by salient discontinuities in the visual image; such that hands, feet, arms, and legs, are natural parts. If so, one would expect these parts to have distinct names which correspond in meaning across languages. To test this proposal, we compared three unrelated languages—Dutch, Japanese, and Indonesian—and found both naming systems and boundaries of even basic body part terms display variation across languages. Bottom-up cues alone cannot explain natural language (...) semantic systems; there simply is not a one-to-one mapping of the body semantic system to the body structural description. Although body parts are flexibly construed across languages, body parts semantics are, nevertheless, constrained by non-linguistic representations in the body structural description, suggesting these are necessary, although not sufficient, in accounting for aspects of the body lexicon. (shrink)
Emotion scientists often take an ambivalent stance concerning the role of language in a science of emotion. However, it is important for emotion researchers to contemplate some of the consequences of current practices for their theory building. There is a danger of an overreliance on the English language as a transparent window into emotion categories. More consideration has to be given to cross-linguistic comparison in the future so that models of language acquisition and of the language–cognition interface fit better the (...) extant variation found in today’s peoples. (shrink)
Technological advances in the field of medicine and health sciences not only manipulate the normal human body and sex but also provide for surgical and hormonal management of hermaphroditism. Consequently, sex assignment surgery has not only become a standard care for babies born with genital abnormalities in the West but even in some Muslim states. On the positive side, it goes a long way in saving children born with abnormal genitalia from numerous legal interdictions of the pre-sex corrective surgery. Nevertheless, (...) the larger ethical and legal questions that medical management of genital abnormality raises to some extent have not been adequately appreciated by contemporary Muslim responses. This article, therefore, in principle argues against surgical management of intersexuality during early infancy from the Islamic legal perspective. (shrink)
To what extent does perceptual language reflect universals of experience and cognition, and to what extent is it shaped by particular cultural preoccupations? This paper investigates the universality~relativity of perceptual language by examining the use of basic perception terms in spontaneous conversation across 13 diverse languages and cultures. We analyze the frequency of perception words to test two universalist hypotheses: that sight is always a dominant sense, and that the relative ranking of the senses will be the same across different (...) cultures. We find that references to sight outstrip references to the other senses, suggesting a pan-human preoccupation with visual phenomena. However, the relative frequency of the other senses was found to vary cross-linguistically. Cultural relativity was conspicuous as exemplified by the high ranking of smell in Semai, an Aslian language. Together these results suggest a place for both universal constraints and cultural shaping of the language of perception. (shrink)
While there has been a number of consumers’ studies looking at factors that influence individuals’ attitudes and behavior toward GM foods, few studies have considered agricultural professionals’ intentions in this regard. This study illuminates agricultural professionals’ insights toward GM foods in Southwest Iran. A random sample of 262 respondents was studied. The results indicated that the majority of the respondents had little knowledge about GM foods. They perceived few benefits or risks of GM foods. Their perceived benefits and trust in (...) individuals and institutions had positive impacts on the behavioral intentions of the agricultural professionals. The results also revealed that the low knowledge level of the respondents had a negative impact on the behavioral intentions toward GM foods. This state of affairs is problematic, either GM foods have serious problems or the knowledge conveyed to the Iranian agricultural experts is inappropriate. We recommend a well defined communication strategy to provide information in such a way that allows individuals to feel adequately informed about GM foods. Furthermore, the development of trust and knowledge regarding GM foods can be greater when risk analysis frameworks are transparent, risk assessment methodologies are objective, all stakeholders are engaged in the risk management process, and risk communication focuses on consumers. (shrink)
This survey was conducted in 2017 to investigate factors influencing social risk perception of biotechnologists and plant breeders in training toward GM food based on a conceptual model. A random sample of 210 biotechnologists and plant breeders in training was studied. Confirmatory factor analysis and the reliability tests have been used to verify the uni-dimensionality of the measurement scale, SEM also was carried out to determine the most parsimonious models with the best fit for social risk perception of GM foods (...) and path analysis was conducted to understand the exogenous variables introduced in the research model. The findings revealed that the engineers in training had moderate social risk perception regarding GM foods. Moreover, the results of structural equation modeling showed the capability of the model in predicting the social risk perceptions of engineers in training. The psychological attributes of risks, social benefit perception, attitude toward using technology, level of religiosity, and moral and ethical beliefs emerged as the most powerful predictors of the social risk perception. The social benefit perception and attitude toward using technology also mediated the effects of psychological attributes of risks, level of religiosity, and moral and ethical beliefs. The social benefit perception also had an indirect influence on the engineers in training’s social risk perception of GM foods. Finally, we recommend the application of the model developed by this study for better understanding of social risk perception of stakeholders to have a more informed view of the development and promotion of GM foods. (shrink)
The linguistic and cognitive sciences have severely underestimated the degree of linguistic diversity in the world. Part of the reason for this is that we have projected assumptions based on English and familiar languages onto the rest. We focus on some distortions this has introduced, especially in the study of semantics.
Recurrent lexicalization patterns across widely different cultural contexts can provide a window onto common conceptualizations. The cross-linguistic data support the idea that sweet, salt, sour, and bitter are basic tastes. In addition, umami and fatty are likely basic tastes, as well.
When researchers think about the interaction between language and emotion, they typically focus on descriptive emotion words. This review demonstrates that emotion can interact with language at many levels of structure, from the sound patterns of a language to its lexicon and grammar, and beyond to how it appears in conversation and discourse. Findings are considered from diverse subfields across the language sciences, including cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and conversation analysis. Taken together, it is clear that emotional expression is (...) finely tuned to language-specific structures. Future emotion research can better exploit cross-linguistic variation to unravel possible universal principles operating between language and emotion. (shrink)
Do we mentally simulate olfactory information? We investigated mental simulation of odors and sounds in two experiments. Participants retained a word while they smelled an odor or heard a sound, then rated odor/sound intensity and recalled the word. Later odor/sound recognition was also tested, and pleasantness and familiarity judgments were collected. Word recall was slower when the sound and sound-word mismatched. Sound recognition was higher when sounds were paired with a match or near-match word. This indicates sound-words are mentally simulated. (...) However, using the same paradigm no memory effects were observed for odor. Instead it appears odor-words only affect lexical-semantic representations, demonstrated by higher ratings of odor intensity and pleasantness when an odor was paired with a match or near-match word. These results suggest fundamental differences in how odor and sound-words are represented. (shrink)
This study examined auditors'' perceptions of the relative level of risk of fraud and material irregularities associated with the presence of six red flag factors and also evaluated the quality of auditors'' judgements. The study was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, subjects were asked to rank the importance of 15 factors that proxy the existence of material misstatements. Based on the responses to this questionnaire, 6 of the most important factors were identified and included in the second (...) stage, a lens model experiment. In the lens model experiment, 30 experienced auditors from a cross-section of Big 6 firms were used as subjects in a repeated-measures ANOVA design. Results showed that misstatements in prior audits and indicators of going-concern problems were perceived to be the most significant factors in alerting auditors to the risk of fraud and material irregularities. In making these judgements, auditors demonstrated a relatively high level of consensus and consistency. However, the two most important factors in the lens model experiment are not the same as the results of the first survey suggesting that the first group of respondents, faced with a simple questionnaire, used heuristics in their decision making. The results have implications for audit practice. (shrink)
We report an experiment examining the effect of three factors on professional Hong Kong liquidators' decisions to bring legal action in negligence against auditors. Factors were (a) the strength (merit) of the supporting evidence (arguable vs. overwhelming), (b) the type of alleged audit failure (failure to report financial statement errors vs. management fraud) and (c) audit firm type (Big 6 vs. non-Big 6). We find evidence that liquidators' litigation decisions are influenced by case merit. We also find that liquidators were (...) marginally more likely to institute legal action against a Big 6 than against a non-Big 6 auditor. However, we find no evidence that the type of alleged audit failure influences litigation decisions. (shrink)
Coherent covariation appears to be a powerful explanatory factor accounting for a range of phenomena in semantic cognition. But its role in accounting for the crosslinguistic facts is less clear. Variation in naming, within the same semantic domain, raises vexing questions about the necessary parameters needed to account for the basic facts underlying categorization.
This article aims at highlighting the specificities of Gaston Bachelard’s «La poétique de la rêverie», seen as the pivot of Motesquieu’s imaginary creation in Persian Letters. The Same and the Other are two essential terms when trying to find the place imagology plays in an intercultural approach where France and Persia are associated with an enchanted exoticism. Criteria such as space, taste, the marvellous and verisimilitude will be examined in order to analyse the images vehiculated by the perceived society and (...) by the perceiving one and to evaluate Montesquieu’s genius for social irony. (shrink)
Gratitude has been promoted as a beneficial emotional experience. However, gratitude is not universally experienced as positive. The current work examines whether an autonomous interpersonal style is associated with differential experience of gratitude. Study 1 found an inverse relationship between trait autonomy and both trait gratitude and positivity of response to receiving a hypothetical benefit from a friend. Study 2 replicated the finding that those higher in autonomy report less trait gratitude, and also demonstrated an inverse relationship between autonomy and (...) valuing gratitude. Study 3 found that those higher in autonomy had more self-image goals and reduced compassionate goals in relationships, and that valuing gratitude mediated the relationship between autonomy and relationship goals. These results show a consistent inverse relationship between autonomy and the experience and valuing of gratitude, suggesting that degree of autonomy is one determinant of whether gratitude is experienced as positive. (shrink)
Apart from references to perception, words such as see and listen have shared, non-literal meanings across diverse languages. Such cross-linguistic meanings have not been systematically investigated as they appear in their natural home — informal spoken interaction. We present a qualitative examination of the semantic associations of perception verbs based on recorded everyday conversation in thirteen diverse languages. Across these diverse communities, spontaneous interaction provides evidence for two commonly-discussed extensions of perception verbs — perception~cognition, hearing~linguistic communication — as well as (...) illustrating other meanings and functions that have been less appreciated heretofore. The range of usage that is readily observable in informal conversation makes it clear that this type of data must take center stage for the empirically grounded study of semantics. Moreover, these data suggest that commonalities in polysemous meanings may rely not only on universal cognition, but also on the universal exigencies of social interaction. (shrink)