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Short communications

Short communications

Broca's aphasia is still a relatively poorly understood phenomenon. The Trace Deletion Hypothesis is one of the attempts made to explain linguistically comprehension deficits observable in this disorder. The article presents the main assumptions, claims and consequences of this hypothesis, as well as criticisms it has raised in the literature. This hypothesis offers an opportunity for shedding more light on the issue of agrammatism in Broca's aphasia, and also for improving our understanding of the phenomenon of aphasia as such and, consequently, our understanding of language processing in the human mind.

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Humor as interactional affordances: an ecological perspective on humor in social interaction

Abstract

In adopting new theoretical advancements within linguistics and ecological psychology, this paper investigates humor from an ecological perspective in naturally occurring social interaction. In doing so, it is claimed that the notions of language as coordination and values-realizing can provide a new understanding of humor as it appears in human interaction. This argument will be unfolded as a rethinking of Wallace Chafe’s notion of nonseriousness (Chafe, 2007) that re-conceptualizes Chafe’s idea of a ‘mental state’ of nonseriousness in terms of interactional affordances and values realizing. This perspective is laid out in in-depth analyses of video recordings of two real-life examples from different settings: two siblings playing and a sequence from a couple-therapy session. It is claimed that both examples of interactional humor can be explained by re-conceptualizing humor as a distinct way of being together. Thus, the emergence of humor is enabled by a shift in the coordinative dynamics rather than by a transfer of semantic ‘content’ from a speaker to a hearer. Finally, humor is investigated as a temporal phenomenon integrating immediate ’here-and-now’ environmental features with socio-cultural expectations on a longer time-scale. In this way humor is viewed as a particular type of values-realizing activity that constrains our actions, re-directs our attention, and thereby enables us to act in a more playful and joyous manner.

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Irony Comprehension in the Nonnative Language Comes at a Cost

Abstract

Irony as a communicative phenomenon continues to puzzle. One of the key questions concerns cognitive and linguistic mechanisms underpinning irony comprehension. Empirical research exploring how much time people need to grasp irony as compared to literal meanings, brought equivocal answers. In view of the timespan-oriented-approach’ inconclusiveness, we set to explore the efficiency of irony online processing in a limited-response-time paradigm. Additionally, we aimed to find out whether advanced nonnative users of a language, who have mastered ironic mode of thinking in their native language, get irony as efficiently in their nonnative as they do in their native language. Results show that participants were less efficient in processing irony than nonirony in both tested languages, yet the efficiency decreased in their nonnative language. These results license a claim that irony is a cognitively more demanding communicative phenomenon than literal meaning, and the effort invested in its comprehension increases in the nonnative language.

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From Infants' Reacting to Understanding: Grounding Mature Communication and Sociality Through Turn-Taking and Sequencing

From Infants' Reacting to Understanding: Grounding Mature Communication and Sociality Through Turn-Taking and Sequencing

I will investigate a number of pre-linguistic infants interacting with caregivers, and attempt to demonstrate that infants' natural reactions (laughing, crying, gazing) function as incipient interactional turn-taking devices employed to non-cognitively initiate communication with caregivers, fostering infant sociality. To demonstrate my claims, I analyze multiple fragments of infant/caregiver interaction to determine how infants come to participate in the interaction order through their natural reactions. The results demonstrate how interaction between infants and caregivers creates an interactional sequence possibly unique to infant/caregiver interaction1, which grounds more mature interactional sequences. The results provide clues as to how infants become more communicative through being embedded in mature turn-taking, the foundation for social interaction order. The results will further indicate that it is indeed instances when infants' natural reactions are treated as some sort of turn, that ontogenetically ground more mature, conversation-analytic turn-taking, as well as future infant communication and cognition.

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Utterances as tool-mediated specifications of affordances - ecological pragmatics

Abstract

The established descriptions of information structure assume that the basic cognitive unit is a categorization, and that the basic semantic structure is a predication. Descriptions based on these assumptions, however, cannot provide an adequate analysis of certain types of utterances that form a part of activities. The article presents a solution to this problem based on Wittgenstein’s private language argument and the concept of information in Gibson's theory of affordances. The basic cognitive assumption is that performers of activities attend to variations in the environment, for example visibility, and perceive the states of variations (e.g., 3000 feet). A state is defined as a local, temporary occurrence of a stimulus configuration that specifies an affordance. The basic pragmatic assumption, then, is that performers of activities share the states of variations by means of utterances. This ecological-pragmatic assumption allows for a rethinking of the usefulness of the reference-predicate distinction and bring forward different dimensions of informational analysis of utterances. It is claimed that an informative and accurate analysis of utterances that form a part of activities relies two distinctions: a distinction between a convention based regulation of attention and a convention based specification of an affordance, and a distinction between sharing information and nesting information

Open access
Dialogue and language as factors contributing to transformative learning in academic tutoring

Abstract

Among a number of teaching practices, personalized education is gaining in popularity owing to its enticing appeal of a novel, humanistic attitude with unparalleled pedagogical results unlike those observed in traditional standardized mass education models. As part of the fourth moment in the history of education (according to the timeline in Davis, Sumara and Kapler, 2015), personalized education under the guise of tutoring or educational coaching is boldly re-entering schools and the academic world. Observing the daily practices of tutors and educational coaches on various levels of schooling, we can note a number of features which contribute to the emergence of a model where learning becomes an autonomous, lived experience. In this model communication is understood as a collaborative dialogical practice, which leads us to see learning as a result of interactivity in the learner-tutor dyad afforded by geo-spatial conditions, physio-psychological elements and language. All these contribute to the occurrence of transformative results as evidenced in student post-tutoring narratives. In this paper we present learning in the dialogical tutor-tutee paradigm as a distributed, embodied, and enacted meaning-making process rather than mere ‘sending’ and ‘receiving’ of substantive information (e.g., De Jaegher and DiPaolo, 2007; Neuman and Cowley, 2013). Described as such, the method fits in the paradigm of self-regulated learning. We therefore postulate the claim that personalised education as exemplified by tutoring is co-agential and prompts learning on multiple timescales. Consequently, cognition and learning in tutoring is enactment of knowledge, while coordinating speech rather than knowledge transmission

Open access
Politeness Strategies in English Business Letters: a Comparative Study of Native and Non-Native Speakers of English

(Eds.), Broadening the Horizon of Linguistic Politeness (pp. 65-83). Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Gilks, K. (2010). Is the Brown and Levinson (1987) model of politeness as useful and infl uential as originally claimed? An assessment of the revised Brown and Levinson (1987) model. Innervate, 2, 94-102. Goffman, E. (1976). Replies and responses. Language in Society, 5 (3), 257-313. Guffey, M.E. & Loewy, D. (2012). Essentials of Business Communication (9th Ed.). Mason: South Western Cengage Learning

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Potential Mechanisms Underlying the Impact of Imaginative Play on Socio-Emotional Development in Childhood

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to weigh the empirical and hypothetical evidence to assess the claim that imaginative play supports the acquisition and development of social and emotional competence. We analyse children’s play and social skills using a development-based perspective. On this basis, we describe the developmental trajectories of imaginative play and the components of socio-emotional competence during childhood, especially in the pre-school period. In addition, we review the research literature on the possible link between imaginative play and creativity in children, and on how this type of play is predictive of later life creativity. Finally, we discuss hypothetical mechanisms that may account for the relationship between imaginative play and social competence in the preschool years and beyond.

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Shaping Strömsö: Examining Elements in a Creative Process for the Design of New Television Content

/intolerance for uncertainty as predictors of creativity. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 3, 240-256. doi:10.11621/pir.2010.0012 Levine, K. J., Heuett, K. B., & Reno, K. M. (2015). Re-operationalizing established groups in brainstorming: Validating Osborn’s claims. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 51 (3), 252-262. doi:10.1002/jocb.122 Madjar, N., Oldham, G. R., & Pratt, M. G. (2002). There’s no place like home? The contributions of work and nonwork creativity support to employees’ creative performance. Academy of Management Journal, 45 (4), 757-767. doi

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