Acquisition of categorical color perception: A perceptual learning approach to the linguistic relativity hypothesis

Emre Özgen, Ian R. L. Davies
2002 Journal of experimental psychology. General  
Color perception can be categorical: Between-category discriminations are more accurate than equivalent within-category discriminations. The effects could be inherited, learned, or both. The authors provide evidence that supports the possibility of learned categorical perception (CP). Experiment 1 demonstrated that observers' color discrimination is flexible and improves through repeated practice. Experiment 2 demonstrated that category learning simulates effects of "natural" color categories
more » ... color discrimination. Experiment 3 investigated the time course of acquired CP. Experiment 4 found that CP effects are acquired through hue-and lightness-based category learning and obtained interesting data on the dimensional perception of color. The data are consistent with the possibility that language may shape color perception and suggest a plausible mechanism for the linguistic relativity hypothesis. Linguistic Relativity The linguistic relativity hypothesis (LRH) proposes that languages differ greatly in the way they "break down" the natural world and that the mental processes, or thoughts, of the speakers of a language will be shaped accordingly (Whorf, 1940 (Whorf, /1956 ). Color
doi:10.1037/0096-3445.131.4.477 pmid:12500859 fatcat:of5qgzq2hvbhla6hx5o2wjgf6m