Resources for Communication Problems

Thursday, January 24, 2008



354 Language and cognition

Have you mailed me any other assignments after midterm? Where are they?

Put paragraph together – not new line feeding after each line in the book – do not press enter after each line.

Who takes care of the incomplete paragraph that goes from end of page 353 to the beginning of p.354?

These two experiments suggest that …a negative correlation (end of page 353) (beginning of page. 354) between codability …are special cases.

Who continues at the end of page 354 with:

(4) concept Formation

Summary in Chinese missing!

Lantz and Stefflre (1964) have shown that it is actually not the

semantic characteristics of the vocabulary of a natural language that

determine the cognitive process recognition but the peculiar use subjects

will make of language in a particular situation. Instead of using the

information from either Approach A or B (which primarily brings out

language peculiarities),they used Approach C which measures the

accuracy of communication in a specific setting, without evaluating the

words that subjects choose to use; their independent variable was

communication accuracy which reflects efficiency of the process but does

not specify by what means it is done. This is quite proper in that the

bound by the semantics of his natural language; there is little evidence

of the tyrannical grip of words on cognition.

When communication accuracy is determined for every color in a

specific stimulus array it predicts recognition of that color quite well

as may be seen from Fig. 8.7. Codability, on the other hand, predicts

recognizability only in special contexts and stimulus arrays. From this

we may infer that subjects make use of the ready-made reference facil-

ities offered them through their vocabulary, only under certain circum-

stances. The rigid or standard use of these words, without creative

qualifications, is in many circumstances not conducive to efficient

communication. Communication accuracy or efficiency will depend

FIG. 8.7 When communication accuracy is determined for every color in a

specific stimulus array, it predicts recognizability of that color in that setting

well.(Date for this graph and for those of figs 8.9 and 8.10 based on an as yet

unpublished article by DeLee Lantz and E.H.Lenneberg.)

IV. Naming and cognitive processes 355

frequently on individual ingenuity rather than on the language spoken

by the communicator.

The Lantz and Stefflre experiment points to an interesting circum-

stance. The variable, communication accuracy, is a distinctly social

phenomenon. But recognition of colors is an entirely intrapersonal

process. Lantz and Stefflre suggest that there are situations in which

the individual communicates with himself over time. This is a fruitful

way of looking at the experimental results and one that also has im-

portant implications regarding human communication in more general

terms. It stresses, once again, the probability that human communica-

tion is made possible by the identity of cognitive processing within each

individual. The social aspect of communication seems to reflect an

internal cognitive process. We are tempted to ask now , “What is prior

the social or the internal process? “At present, there is no clear answer

to this, but the cognitive functioning of congenitally deaf children,

before they have learned to read, write. or lip-read (in short, before

they have language)appears to be, by and large, similar enough to their

hearing contemporaries to lead me to believe that the internal process

is the condition for the social process, although certain influences of

the social environment upon intrapersonal cognitive development can-

not be denied.

What preliminary conclusions may we draw then from these empir-

ical investigations? Four major facts emerge. First, the semantic struc-

ture of a given language only has a mildly biasing effect upon recogni-

tion under special circumstance; limitations of vocabulary may be

largely overcome by the creative use of descriptive words. Second, a

study of the efficiency of communication in a social setting (of healthy

individuals) may give clues to intrapersonal processes. Third, efficiency

of communication is mostly dependent upon such extra-semantic

factors as the number of and perceptual distance between discrim-

inanda. Fourth, the social communication measures become more

predictive of the intrapersonal processes as the difficulty of the individ-

ual’s task increases either by taxing memory or by reduction of cues

(cf. also Frijda and Van de Geer. 1961: Van de Geer, 1960:Glanzer

and Clark, 1962; Krauss and Weinheimer. 1965).

Who continues at the end of page 354 with:

(4) concept Formation

Summary in Chinese missing!

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