Is the sky really blue? Some hunter-gatherers don’t describe colors the same way most people do

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Is the sky really blue? Some hunter-gatherers don’t describe colors the same way most people do

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:45 am

I decided that it would be almost impossible to present the most salient information from this very interesting new article published by Science without posting pretty much the entire piece. So I've restricted myself to just the opening paragraph:

"Ask almost any child in the developed world what color the sky is, and you’ll get the same answer. But pose the question to a hunter-gatherer from the Amazon, and it may be a while before you hear the word for “blue,” if you ever do. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that the ability to describe colors isn’t as rooted in our biology as many scientists thought. And that means that language development may be far more rooted in our culture than in how we literally see the world."
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Re: Is the sky really blue? Some hunter-gatherers don’t describe colors the same way most people do

Post by Wizard of Oz » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:12 am

That is how I have always understood language to be. This comes from my Linguistic studies, oh the foolish days of youth, and psych studies, even more foolish days, and personal observations. Counting is another good topic to observe the difference between cultures.

WoZ on the rise.
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: Is the sky really blue? Some hunter-gatherers don’t describe colors the same way most people do

Post by BonnieL » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:47 pm

Some of us don't see colors the same way as others! I like the color in my bathroom & told the contractor I wanted the same shade of pale green in the kitchen. Which is when I found out it isn't green - it's silver gray. Since then I've been dragging people into the bathroom & asking them what color they see. So far, the opinion is pretty evenly split.

I guess it doesn't matter what the color is, as long as I like it. :D
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Re: Is the sky really blue? Some hunter-gatherers don’t describe colors the same way most people do

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:39 am

The psychology of colour is an extremely well researched and utilised area. Studies go back to the 1700s. Gender, age, culture all have an effect.

WoZ in a peach pink and purple pair of pantaloons
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

End of topic.
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