Do Humans Perceive And Categorize The World?

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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…show more content…
For us, if were asked what color the sky is we would say blue, and if we were asked what the color of the grass is, we would say green. Cultures having only one word for green and blue are going to tell you “shin” for both questions. But, if you asked them to pick the very best one, they are going to point out the same “best green”, or the same focal color, that we would select. Regardless of language, humans are able to differentiate between colors in the same manner, and that tells me that we are able to perceive things in the same way. It also shows that distinguishing colors is universal, and not cultural. This lack of difference in perception encourages me to agree with the textbook. As discussed in Chapter 4 of Culture and Identity, perception abilities of people in non-Western cultures do not differ significantly from our own abilities in Western cultures. We are able to perceive things relatively the same. This would mean that indeed, perception is universal, and should not be looked at from a cultural relativist perspective. Although we can look at perception through a universal lens, there are some aspects that can only be explained by culture. Yes, it appears that all humans have the ability to perceive the world the same way. However, our language and culture does make a difference. For example, research has shown that while someone may be able to pick out the best focal
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