Patterns of mind: How differences in languages and bodies influence different ways of thinking

| Do patterns in the ways we interact with the world affect cognition? |

Daniel Casasanto’s research on linguistic and bodily relativity shows that they do. Specific features in our languages (for example, the types of metaphors commonly used) and our bodies (like whether we are right or left-handed) result in specific patterns in our experiences. According to Casasanto’s hypothesis, these patterns of interactions affect the way we think.

Linguistic relativity is… [the] idea that people who speak different languages think differently as a consequence… It turns out that the language that you speak shapes the way you think in myriad and fundamental ways…

The body specificity hypothesis is the first line of research in a larger program I call bodily relativity… [I]f the contents of our minds are shaped by the way we interact with the environment, then people with different kinds of bodies interact with their environment in systematically different ways will think differently as a consequence.

Mind in Context: How Linguistic and Bodily Relativity Shape Thinking | Daniel Casasanto

Language and Thought | Daniel Casasanto