Need help with my writing homework on Color, Language, and Perceptual Categorization. Write a 1250 word paper answering; Additionally, would someone from South Africa and someone from England observe the same object yet identify it with a different color?
Researchers who have studied human thought and behavior have long been interested in how language shapes the human thought process. Researchers have investigated these phenomena by observing how people who speak different languages perceive color. They wanted to discover any correlation between language and thought. A study by Berlin and Kay (1969) showed that language had an effect on how people described and observed basic color schemes. However, the effect that a person’s language has on their perception of color did not show impressive results. The study indicated that the perception of color in relation to one’s language was minimal and even tended to point to a universal pattern of color recognition. Berlin proposed that color terms evolve and that given enough time, all languages eventually end up with eleven universal, basic color terms. These observations lead to the universal color perception theory. Of late, researchers have focused on another aspect of color perception, categorical perception (CP).
The languages of South Africa have provided the researcher with the opportunity to study categorical perception across cultures. It was discovered that the South African language uses one color term for a color region while the English language needs two terms to describe the same color region. Some languages use a single term for green and blue, orange and yellow, etc. There was no boundary between the two colors in terms of their perception. The question that arose out of these studies was, do the people that speak these different languages have different perceptual boundaries as well? In answer to this question, researchers showed participants one color and then stimuli of different colors. .
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