Assignment:  Language Perception and Cognition

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Assignment:  Language Perception and Cognition

Assignment:  Language Perception and Cognition


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Assignment: Language, Perception, and Cognition

5.0 Points Possible. Feb 27, 2018 3:48 PM

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

Language, Perception, and Cognition

In this discussion forum, you will examine what language says about how the human mind works. More specifically, you will consider whether the language people speak (including the words that are available to them and the way words are organized to convey meaning) merely offers a window into human cognition or it can actually affect the way people perceive and understand the world. Please note that your answer to this question needs be supported by scientific evidence. For your initial post, complete the steps below:

Watch the videos, Steven Pinker: What our Language Habits Reveal and Keith Chen: Could your Language Affect your Ability to Save Money? on the links between language and cognition.

Read The New York Times article Does Your Language Shape How You Think? to further your understanding of the links between language and cognition.

Access the Ashford University Library and Google Scholar, review the psycholinguist literature, and then select a research article that offers an answer to the question about whether language shapes perceptions and thoughts or merely reflects them. Share the evidence you have uncovered and your critical examination of such evidence with the class. Your initial post must include a minimum of 300 words.

Guided Response: Offer a substantial response to at least two other posts written by members of the class. Respond to a post that discusses a different viewpoint from the one that you have selected, a post that discusses the same viewpoint, and an inquiry from your instructor. Keep in mind that both peers and instructor are members of the class. In your answers, discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the content of each post. Be sure that you cite scientific evidence to support your views. A minimum of 200 words should be used for each response to other posts. Be certain to continue monitoring the discussion board until 5 p.m. (Pacific Time) on Day 7 of the week.


Yolanda Craig Feb 27, 2018 8:49 AM

Does language shapes perceptions and thoughts or merely reflects them?


Language is a potent and fundamental means of exploring and exploiting one’s learned knowledge of the world for the intake of self-knowledge and the knowledge of others (Lupyan, G.; Clark, A. (2015). Psycho physics and cognitive psychology reveals that a great deal of perception conforms to optimal ways of combining sensory evidence with prior knowledge within framework of predictive processing (Lupyan, G.; Clark, A. (2015). Predictive processing framework shares many features on perception as inference and developments in connection and parallel distributed processing. Perception varies in one’s daily task based on the demands. Task such as walking around one’s home in the dark requires top-down knowledge. While driving at a fast pace in an unfamiliar area, sensory input must be initiated. The coping of probabilistic- prediction must cope with constant estimate and re-estimate of sensory uncertainty while completing various daily task (Lupyan, G.; Clark, A. (2015). The reassigning of less or more weight of top-down expectations as opposed to bottom up inputs to lessen prediction error signals. Variable precision weighting is a mechanism for tuning the input of top-down predictions and this mechanism provides passage for language to become a flexible tool for modulation sensory processing, therefore, concluding that language plays a role in communicating the thoughts of one and plays a role in shaping those thoughts. The expression of words through language, are ways to express one’s preexisting thoughts and are flexible resources throughout the neural hierarchy Lupyan, G.; Clark, A. (2015).


Lupyan, G.; Clark, A. (2015). Words and the world: Predictive coding and the language-perception-cognition interface.


Patricia Pieart Feb 27, 2018 3:48 PM

Does language shape perceptions and thoughts or reflect them?

Perception is defined as, “receiving, collecting, action of taking possession, apprehension with the mind or senses” (Manasia, 2014, page 70).  Perception consists of the way the brain transforms sensory images into the perception of the world.  Sensory stimuli that is registered by the senses is intervened by knowledge and previous experiences.  It is important to note that perception does not reproduce the sensory stimuli but stimulates an active process of organization.  Perception is an active, not passive, process involved in problem solving.  Perception consists of multiple that allow for awareness of the surrounding environment (Manasia, 2014, page 70-1).

What is the relationship between perception and language?  “The impression that perception and language are closely related may stem from a feeling that people use language primarily to talk about the world they perceive” (Manasia, 2014, page 71).  An essential aspect is to understand how language applies to perceptual reality reconstruction, and how reconstruction is related to action.  Cognitive grammar uses an explanation for the connection between perception and cognition.  Cognitive linguists believe that language is grounded in experience (physical, bodily, socially, and culturally) (Manasia, 2014, page 71).  Merleau-Ponty explains that perception guides every conscious action and that human consciousness assigns meaning to the world.  Merleau-Ponty also believed that thought preceded speech because speech is an expression of thought.  “Talking is the first act of individuals in the sense that they attempt, via signs, to change the world they find themselves to belong to” (Manasia, 2014, page 73).  Meanings bring words to life and perception combines memory recall and an imaginative projection.  The present relies on the past and the future that emerge within it (Manasia, 2014, page 73).

Keith Chen (2012) provides a practical application for futureless language.  He states that English is the only language that forces you to speak and think about time.  Countries that speak using futureless language are better at saving money. Futureless speaking countries are 30% more likely to save more money in one year and 25% more likely to save more for retirement.  There are also health implications.  Futureless speaking countries are 20-24% less likely to smoke and 13-17% less obese than future-speaking countries (Chen, 2012).

The answer to this week’s prompt is that language shapes and reflects our perceptions.  We use language to talk about our perceptions and perceptions to organize stimuli for language.  Perception is used organize stimuli to produce language about the perception.



Chen, K. (2012, June). Keith Chen: Could your language affect your ability to save money?

[Video file]. Retrieved from


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