- Is there a role for language in emotion perception?
- Emotion Review
- Volume | Issue number
- 10 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
What is the relationship between language, emotion concepts, and perceptual categories? Here I compare the strong Whorfian view of linguistic relativity, which argues that language plays a necessary role in the perception of emotions, to the alternative view that different levels of processing (e.g., linguistic, conceptual, perceptual) are relatively independent and thus, that language does not play a foundational role in emotion perception. I examine neuropsychological studies that have tested strong claims of linguistic relativity, and discuss research on categorical perception of emotional expressions, where the two accounts have been directly tested against each other. As in other perceptual domains, there is little evidence that language plays a foundational role in the perception of emotion.
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