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Unlike their American counterparts, Chinese participants were far less likely to fixate on privileged objects or to ask the speaker to clarify a reference that was ambiguous from their own perspective. How might these cultural differences be explained in terms of underlying cognitive processing? Wu and Keysar measured egocentric interference in terms of first fixation latency and fixation duration, measures that can detect overall differences between groups, but that do not provide information about when such differences might emerge.

To gain further insight into the underlying processes, we reanalyzed the data from Wu and Keysar using a more time-sensitive analysis in order to investigate the time-course of these cultural differences. Our analysis sought to test whether cultural differences emerged early or late relative to the onset of referential processing. On the one hand, cultural differences in egocentric interference may be present from the earliest moments of referential processing, suggesting that Chinese are able to more effectively use information about perspective to constrain the online processing of referring expression.

On the other hand, it is possible that cultural differences emerge late, with both groups showing similar levels of egocentric interference early on, and only diverging later. This latter pattern would imply that the earliest moments of processing are unaffected by social information, and are driven largely by egocentric heuristics that enable rapid ambiguity resolution. Under this view, cultural differences would emerge late because participants from a Chinese background would be faster and more effective than Westerners at suppressing the pragmatically inappropriate information.

In other words, cultural differences would not reflect differences in the ability to integrate social information into language processing, but instead would reflect differences in how listeners connect the outcome of basic referential processes to further thought and action. Having laid out these possibilities in general terms, let us now consider in more detail the nature of the analysis, the possible outcomes, and their implications for theories of language processing and social cognition.

Our analysis focused on the temporal profile of egocentric interference across the two cultural groups. We define egocentric interference as the difference in the likelihood of gazing at a hidden competitor e. Predictions of differential integration A , differential correction B , and differential integration plus correction C.


Based on previous literature, we identify three different effect profiles that would be consistent with three different theoretical accounts. This account would be consistent with constraint-based models of perspective use in language comprehension Nadig and Sedivy, ; Hanna et al. Critically, the account does not differentiate between different types of cues, assuming that any available cue can influence any level of processing from its earliest moments, regardless of its source e. Under this view, the shared perspective between the speaker and listener is a more salient and reliable cue for Chinese than for Westerners.

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Anticipatory processing refers to those steps taken by the listener in preparation for a referring expression, such as increasing attention to shared mutually visible objects. Barr found that comprehenders strongly anticipated that speakers would refer to referential candidates that were shared with the speaker, as evidenced by a higher probability of fixating shared than privileged objects. However, supporting autonomous activation, while interpreting the referring expression, listeners did not show any less interference from privileged than from shared competitors: the probability of gazing at a privileged competitor increased from its lower baseline at the same rate as the increase in probability for a shared competitor.

Under this view, they should experience comparable levels of egocentric interference to Westerners, at least during the earliest moments of comprehension. Of course, the integration and correction accounts are not mutually exclusive. This pattern would be consistent with constraint-based models. Additional details regarding experimental and data collection procedures are available in the original report Wu and Keysar, Observations for a given trial were terminated when listeners touched the target. These points varied from trial to trial, with a median of ms vs. Our goal was to test whether there was a time-lag between the onset of egocentric interference and the onset of cultural differences.

To give an overview of our analysis method, we applied the cluster randomization method that has become popular in neuroimaging for determining the spatial and temporal extent of experimentally induced effects Bullmore et al. This approach is attractive for localizing effects in time in a visual-world study because it takes advantage of temporal correlations among adjacent data points to overcome the problem of multiple comparisons. The approach proceeds as follows. First, a significance test is performed at each time slice for a given effect e.

For example, consider tests performed at six subsequent time slices, t 1 , t 2 , t 3 , t 4 , t 5 , and t 6 , with tests significant at the 0. If t 2 and t 3 have effects in the same direction, then they form a cluster; likewise, if t 5 and t 6 are in the same direction, they also form a cluster. There are two separate clusters rather than a single one because of the intervening non-significant test at t 4. One obtains a null-hypothesis distribution for this cluster mass statistic through randomization permutation tests ; i.

We did this procedure twice, once to test for the main effect of Competition competitor vs. The cluster randomization procedure provides only p -values; however, we were also interested in defining confidence limits for our effects. To obtain these confidence limits we used bootstrapping details below. The remainder of this section provide further technical details regarding how these analyses were implemented. Rather than comparing the observed probabilities at each time point, we fit a time-series model to the data and compared predictions from the model, following Barr et al.

In the model, time was represented as a 7th order polynomial. We determined the order of the polynomial using a model search procedure, in which we calculated the Akaike Information Criterion AIC value for all models ranging from a 3rd order to a 16th order polynomial, and then selected the model with the lowest AIC, which was a 7th order polynomial. This was done on the grand-averaged data i. The leftmost bar in each plot corresponds to onset of the competition effect, while the rightmost bar reflects the onset of cultural effects.

Logistic regression models were fit to the data using the multinom procedure of the nnet package Venables and Ripley, of R statistical software R Core Team, , treating the outcome for each sample as binary. The cluster randomization procedure was performed twice, once treating subjects as random and items as fixed p 1 , and once treating items as random and subjects as fixed p 2.

For simplicity, we describe the procedure treating subjects as random factors. In addition to the parameter estimates from a fit to the original data, we created additional data sets by randomly permuting the condition labels competitor vs. For a given culture group, a permutation was created by randomly choosing, with equal probability, whether or not to block-exchange all competitor and non-competitor labels for each subject.

The same number of exchanges was then performed for the other culture group with the units undergoing the exchange chosen at random. The parameter estimates for the model fit to each of these data sets were stored as a row in the matrix. The predicted effects for each of the datasets including the original were stored as separate rows in a matrix. The p -value for each effect main effect of competition or interaction at each time point was given as the number of rows in the effect matrix exceeding the original value divided by the number of rows in the matrix.

Then, we identified clusters by grouping together all temporally adjacent time-frames where the effect reached significance. A cluster mass statistic Bullmore et al. This cluster mass statistic was calculated for each cluster in the original data. This allowed us to identify the onset of the first significant cluster for both the main effect as well as for the interaction. To obtain confidence limits, we repeated the complete analysis described above for bootstrapped versions of the data set, wherein we sampled subjects with replacement from each group at random. Although the confidence limits derived from bootstrapping provide useful information, the main inferential focus is on the results of the cluster randomization on the original data.

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Note that 0 ms does not correspond to the onset of the utterance e. Thus any differences in timing between groups cannot be attributed to possible linguistic differences between Chinese and English in the duration of the material preceding the referring expression. There was little evidence that Chinese participants experienced any less interference than U. Note that there was no overlap between the confidence interval for the onset of the cultural difference — with that for the onset of egocentric interference — Overall, our findings support the hypothesis that language users from different cultures share a common stratum of referential processing, with cultural variation in how the products of these early referential processes are used in the higher-level processes governing thought and action.

Could our findings of common interference and differential correction be alternatively explained in terms of linguistic differences between Mandarin Chinese and English? However, if this were the case, then Chinese participants should have shown a stronger tendency than U. However, the data showed the exact opposite. While the U.

One possible concern might be that the later correction for Chinese participants reflects shorter referring expressions in Chinese, or more rapid speech when the confederate spoke Chinese. First, if the earlier correction occurred because the Chinese expressions were briefer or spoken more rapidly, then not only would the correction process take place earlier, but so would the egocentric interference; specifically, the initial rising slope of the curve should have been much steeper for the Chinese group than for the Western group, and should have reached its peak much earlier.

However, egocentric interference seems to rise at similar rates for both groups, and both seem to initially reach their maximum values at roughly the same time — ms.

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Second, whereas the correction process seems to begin at around ms for the Chinese group, it seems delayed until about ms for the American group. This is far too great of a disparity to be explained by differences in the spoken expressions, given that expressions in these types of experiments typically last no more than 1 s. Finally, the groups differ not only in the timing of the correction, but also in the efficacy of the correction, with a sudden sharp decline for the Chinese group, and more of a lingering pattern for the Western group.

Thus, these patterns seem less likely to be driven by differences in the stimuli, and more likely to reflect true cultural differences in linguistic interpretation. Constraint-based views would have difficulty accounting for the extreme delay in the emergence of cultural differences relative to the onset of egocentric interference. If, as constraint-based views predict, language users can integrate perspective information from the earliest moments of processing, and Chinese participants attend more strongly to the shared perspective than Westerners, then Chinese participants should have shown less egocentric interference from the very earliest moments of processing.

Our view, then, is that despite attending more strongly to shared information, Chinese participants are no better at integrating it into referential processing. However, an alternative view must be considered, which is that perhaps the late emergence does not reflect a standalone correction process, but simply reflects delayed activation of shared information relative to other kinds of information.

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Under this view, had the shared knowledge become activated earlier, perhaps we would have seen its effects earlier in processing. However, it is unclear what would account for the delayed activation of shared knowledge within the current paradigm.

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For one, in the current experimental situation, listeners knew well before hearing the referring expression which items their partner could see and which they could not see. In other words, information about what was shared was available to participants even before any referential information became available. It is therefore not clear why listeners would wait for a referring expression to activate the shared knowledge, rather than using it to predict potential referents in advance.

It is not possible to tell whether listeners in fact made such predictions, because this requires comparing shared to privileged objects, and our analysis only considered privileged objects. However, experiments using a similar setup have found that in the interval preceding the onset of the referring expression, listeners are more likely to look at shared objects Keysar et al. Specifically, listeners attend less overall to privileged objects than to shared objects, but nonetheless experience similar levels of interference from competitors regardless of whether they are shared or not.

It would be of interest to repeat these experiments with East Asian participants. Our account predicts greater access to shared knowledge among East Asians, but without any reduction in the size of the interference produced by competitors. Our view that information about perspective is involved in correction is consistent with an anchoring and adjustment view of perspective taking Keysar et al. However, distinct from Keysar et al. Consistent with the use of common ground in correction, other research shows that perspective taking involves cognitive effort Rossnagel, ; Brown-Schmidt, ; Nilsen and Graham, ; Lin et al.

Beijing was a Mongol creation, but on the basis of Chinese ideas about how an imperial capital city should be laid out, which was prescribed in the classics Rites of Zhou more than two thousand years ago. The imperial walled city Beijing and its hutong that gave rise to a symmetric layout of old Beijing was meticulously arranged in terms of city walls, orientation, central north-south axis, grid pattern, etc to reflect traditional beliefs and cosmology. They could be perceived as a value system with profound meanings that persisted for a few hundred years through the Mongol Yuan , Chinese Ming , Manchu Qing Hutong and old Beijing also survived at least half of the 20th century through the Republican Era until the New China, when they started to be demolished.

No matter in terms of architecture and urban planning, or of traditions of a people, hutong neighbourhoods were unique and irreplaceable historical and cultural heritage that should be preserved. The fact that modernity is put in place at the sacrifice of a precious cultural legacy diminishes its reception and popularity. There is no doubt that Beijing would have been much more fascinating to foreigners if its historically constructed culture and tradition had been adequately preserved and exhibited. While recognising the rapid improvements in infrastructure and facilities, the modernization of Beijing at the expense of its irreplaceable traditions and heritage is worth debating in a wider social context beyond academia and the Olympic Movement.

The new image of Beijing presented during the Olympics is open to diverse interpretations. What is certain is that while the construction of Beijing eight hundred years ago was part of the imperial programme of the Mongols Steinhardt 72 , transforming Beijing today is meant to symbolise the return of the Chinese empire. The emergence of new Beijing is once again a political discourse. Chinese traditions were once the best resort for Kublai Khan to legitimate his alien rule in China. To conclude, as widely acknowledged, the Beijing Olympics was a success.

The Olympics-related education in terms of Olympism, the Olympic Movement and the history of the Olympics, etc was also well arranged and conducted. It was without a doubt that China made enormous efforts to cooperate with the IOC to deliver a high quality Olympics, together with its accompanying cultural and educational programmes.

However, this should not mask the problems that I discuss here, since reverence for tradition and heritage, acknowledging and cherishing a unique culture to keep it alive, and the participation of all are important aspects of general humanity essential to both Olympism and nation-building. A nation draws its strength from a culture rooted in history and tradition. Nation-building is, to a great extent, a cultural matter.

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Are you sure you want to cancel your registration? Show menu. My account My account. Cambridge - The research paper discusses the cultural aspects of the Olympics and that of the host city Beijing in terms of its urban transformation from an imperial landscape characterised by siheyuan and hutong to a modern image incorporating features such as avant-garde architecture and skyscrapers. Loading enrichments