Psychology, Language and Rationality


#1

wired.com/2012/04/language-and-bias/

Reading this article made me consider how the effect of our understanding of words, (vis-a-vis translations, for example) affect our rationality with respect to certain theological positions. I think this has implications for any theological topic such as universalism, where an understanding of the original languages is so key to seeing what is often hidden from us in translations.


#2

Interesting article, and I wonder if that might have something to do with the fact that we seemingly find new ideas with multiple readings of the same scripture passage?

I also think that understanding cultural context (which may go hand in hand with understanding the original language) has much to do with being able to fully grasp what the original writer was saying.


#3

Let me shed some light here. For the record:

I have a masters in psychology and a six sigma black belt in statistical methodology from Motorola.
I have a working familiarity with French, Spanish and Portuguese

So this does give me credence to speak as a subject matter expert. While these experiments show initial promise, we really need to wait a bit - to see if the results are replicated and other variables are tested in future experiments. The researchers might be showing a correlation

rather than a causation variable

And there could really be other unidentified variables causing the results.

Also, the article doesn’t really say what proficiency in the second language the participants had and whether it was measured beforehand via conventional language testing methods.

I would also like to see this expanded to measure different language types and their differences. Let’s take western English speakers as our knowledge and testing base. Would romance languages (i.e. French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish) produce significant differences in regards to Asian languages (i.e. Chinese, Japanese or Korean) or middle Eastern languages (i.e. Arabic)?