Psych Sunday’s: Lets talk about language…

**apologies this was supposed to post Sunday but I have been so busy but here it is**

Hello welcome back to a Psych Sunday. I haven’t done one of these in a while so here you guys are blessed with another one haha…

Today I thought I would try to implement some of my own knowledge and research and mix it with a review of an article I read. Basically my main focus for my Masters is how language and emotions influence one another (in basic terms, obviously my project title is worded a better).

You can check out the original article here if you wish. 

The article first talks about experiments with children aged between 3- 5 years old, and they found that when learning new nouns children will use what they know to help them figure out what the words actually mean.

Basically when it comes to learning language we as children start with simple words and these words are associated with objects that we see around us for example, ball or bike etc. Then we attach some sort of meaning to these specific words which makes it part of our vocabulary.  This is something that was believed adults tend to do and children acquire this later on in life, however this current study proved differently. Therefore, actually children do use similar methods when acquiring new nouns just like adults do.

This actually shows that children use meaning when it comes to learning new words. The researchers use the term “blowfish effect” for explaining this meaning. The “blowfish effect” just means that if children see a tropical flower and learn a new word that fits with that, they then assume that it fits in that particular category rather than using the broader term of “flower”. Does that make sense?

Previously, research has only suggested that children are fairly simple when it comes to learning language. For example, the article uses the example that if children learn the word “goldfish” they would assume and just refer to it as a fish.

A study mentioned in the article used an iPad to teach children four new words, and the children either saw one or three examples that was identified with a new word (“this is a…”). The children got 12 images and then had to find what the new word they had learnt was in the picture. For example, a type of bird. Therefore, they were seeing if the children would just generally pick all birds for example or would they find the specific type of bird in the picture and new word that they had learnt. This was also run with college students to check whether adults could do it as well- its kind of like a control in a way but also to compare how adults learn as well.

The article states that they found both children and adults process new words in the same way. If they saw a dog labelled as a “kip” they were likely to then assume that that was a type of dog and not just all dogs generally.

Overall, this research is great for language development and should inspire further research. I also think it is just interesting how we learn things. I probably sound proper nerdy but just how we associate meaning to a word in our brain naturally is just f***ing incredible ya know? But also I think we underestimate how smart children actually are.

Lemme know what you guys think in the comments? What are your thoughts on language in general?

If you enjoyed give a like, comment and follow for more posts!

Gemma xx

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Author: gemmaajaynee

24 year old just wanting to write with her spare time.

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