Our malleable minds

In the first post of an old blog from 2012, Daniel Casasanto provided a brief orientation to the relationships among experience, cognition, and human diversity.

How is the diversity of the human experience reflected in the mind?… People’s experiences vary, so it would seem natural that many of the concepts they form vary accordingly … Experience matters…

Language, culture, and the body are ever-present aspects of the context in which we use our minds. Since thinking depends on context, people with different languages, cultures, and bodies tend to think, feel, and act differently, in predictable ways … Our conceptions of time, space, objects, colors, and sounds are all conditioned by the ways we talk about them… Our feelings and choices are shaped by peculiarities of the bodies we use to interface with the world … Even fleeting aspects of the environmental context influence our thoughts … Fleeting bodily states also affect the mind …

[P]eople with different patterns of physical and social experience come to think differently … Paradoxically, exploring the ways in which minds differ from person to person and from moment to moment may be the best way to discover universal processes by which people acquire and use their knowledge.

Our Malleable Minds | Daniel Casasanto

Experience and Cognition Lab | Daniel Casasanto