Greener BeeGreen LivingHow Our Language Affects The Colors We See

Our world is a colorful place.

From a very young age, we’re taught to recognize and appreciate color. There’s extensive research into the impact that color has on our mood, the flavors we taste and even our performance at work.

Learning to name the colors of the rainbow is a part of very early childhood education, and we’re often led to believe that these colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple— are universal. But does learning color names in our own native tongue affect the variety of colors we’re able to see? Recent research suggests the answer is ‘yes’.

In a study published by the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, researchers found that Himba children, an indigenous tribe from Namibia which lacks names for certain shades of green and blue were essentially “blind” to those colors, while English-speaking children who were taught distinct names for those colors were able to recognize them when asked.

“This experiment challenges the notion that color categories are absolute, and instead suggests that our perception of color is a social phenomenon — it’s influenced by categories that are arbitrarily imposed on us by the language we speak,” explains the Transparent Language blog.

Check out this video to watch the Himba experiment in action, and scroll through the infographic below to learn more about how language affects our perception of colors.

How Our Language Affects The Colors We See

Related Reading:

Your Favorite Color And What It Says About You
How To Preserve The Colors Of Fall Foliage
How To Use The Power Of Color

Photo Credit: Behr Paint

Article source: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-our-language-affects-the-colors-we-see.html


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