Do Humans Perceive And Categorize The World?

1715 Words Feb 18th, 2016 7 Pages
In this essay, I will answer the following questions. Do humans perceive and categorize the world in the same ways? How do linguistic and cultural categories influence how people perceive, remember, and categorize the world? What, if any, universals seem to exist? I am confident that the evidence provided will answer each one of these questions. There is evidence that all humans are able to perceive and classify the world in similar manners. However, the evidence will also show that perception tends to be universal, while classification tends to be largely influenced by culture. There is also evidence that suggests certain aspects of perception may only be explained by culture, while certain aspects of classification are universal. This will all be addressed below.
I will argue that humans are able to perceive things rather similarly. There were many examples used in class to examine perception across cultures. One of which was done by E. H. R. Rivers in 1898. He had Melanesian people near Australia test their vision using “Snellen’s E Chart”. This is the same test that we undergo when we go have our eyes checked. We cover one eye, and read down the chart as far as we can. Rivers found absolutely no difference in their performance in comparison to that of a Western civilization.
Another interesting example looks at language and color perception. Although many languages may not share words for colors, they are still able to identify the color with ease. For example, a…
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