More stereotypes, please! The limits of ‘theory of mind’ and the need for further studies on the complexity of real world social interactions Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Kristin Andrews
I suggest that the Stereotype Rationality Hypothesis (Jussim 2012) is only partially right. I agree it is rational to rely on stereotypes, but in the complexity of real world social interactions, most of our individuating information invokes additional stereotypes. Despite assumptions to the contrary, there is reason to think theory of mind is not accurate, and social psychology's denial of stereotype accuracy led us toward mindreading/theory of mind – a less accurate account of how we understand other people.
Are stereotypes accurate? A perspective from the cognitive science of concepts Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Lin Bian, Andrei Cimpian
In his 2012 book, Jussim suggests that people's beliefs about various groups (i.e., their stereotypes) are largely accurate. We unpack this claim using the distinction between generic and statistical beliefs – a distinction supported by extensive evidence in cognitive psychology, linguistics, and philosophy. Regardless of whether one understands stereotypes as generic or statistical beliefs about groups, skepticism remains about the rationality of social judgments.
Trustworthiness perception at zero acquaintance: Consensus, accuracy, and prejudice Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Jean-François Bonnefon, Astrid Hopfensitz, Wim De Neys
Research on trustworthiness perception from faces has unfolded in a way that is strikingly reminiscent of Jussim's narrative in his 2012 book. Jussim's analysis warns us against overemphasizing evidence about prejudice over evidence about accuracy, when both are scant; and reminds us to hold all accounts to the same standards, whether they call on societal biases or true signals.
Perceptions versus interpretations, and domains for self-fulfilling prophesies Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Jennifer Church
I suggest two ways in which Jussim's extensive discussion (in his 2012 book) could be enriched: first, by exploring the distinction between perceptual judgments and interpretive judgments; second, by considering the power of expectations to be self-fulfilling in the case of young children and the case of fragile egos.
Realism and constructivism in social perception Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 John F. Kihlstrom
Jussim's critique of social psychology's embrace of error and bias is needed and often persuasive. In opting for perceptual realism over social constructivism, however, he seems to ignore a third choice – a cognitive constructivism which has a long and distinguished history in the study of nonsocial perception, and which enables us to understand both accuracy and error.
An evolutionary approach to accuracy in social perception Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Anthony C. Little
An evolutionary approach highlights that accuracy should be expected over error because selection pressures will have shaped social perception to be functional. Behaviour is extremely complex and so it is unlikely that observers will be perfectly accurate, but an evolutionary view strongly predicts that people will behave as rational observers and in many cases social perception should favour adaptive responses.
Intelligence, competitive altruism, and “clever silliness” may underlie bias in academe Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Guy Madison, Edward Dutton, Charlotta Stern
Why is social bias and its depressing effects on low-status or low-performing groups exaggerated? We show that the higher intelligence of academics has at best a very weak effect on reducing their bias, facilitates superficially justifying their biases, and may make them better at understanding the benefits of social conformity in general and competitive altruism specifically. We foresee a surge in research examining these mechanisms and recommend, meanwhile, reviving and better observing scientific ideals.
Why would we expect the mind to work that way? The fitness costs to inaccurate beliefs Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Jesse Marczyk
An adaptationist analysis of beliefs yields the prediction that we ought to expect accuracy in the cognitive systems which generate them – stereotypes or otherwise – for the most part. There are, however, some limited situations in which some inaccuracy in beliefs advertised to others might be adaptive.
Stereotypes violate the postmodern construction of personal autonomy Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Chris C. Martin
Individual autonomy, as constructed in the postmodern era, is violated by stereotypes, which makes stereotype accuracy morally unpalatable. Yet people are clustered and homogenized by social forces, entailing some accuracy in stereotypes. This tension can be ameliorated by unveiling the constructed nature of autonomous selfhood, and explaining why social clustering has occurred and been adaptive.
Accurate perceptions do not need complete information to reflect reality Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Shabnam Mousavi, David C. Funder
Social reality of a group emerges from interpersonal perceptions and beliefs put to action under a host of environmental conditions. By extending the study of fast-and-frugal heuristics, we view social perceptions as judgment tools and assert that perceptions are ecologically rational to the degree that they adapt to the social reality. We maintain that the veracity of both stereotypes and base rates, as judgment tools, can be determined solely by accuracy research.
Choosing the right level of analysis: Stereotypes shape social reality via collective action Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Ben M. Tappin, Ryan T. McKay, Dominic Abrams
In his 2012 book Jussim argues that the self-fulfilling prophecy and expectancy effects of descriptive stereotypes are not potent shapers of social reality. However, his conclusion that descriptive stereotypes per se do not shape social reality is premature and overly reductionist. We review evidence that suggests descriptive stereotypes do have a substantial influence on social reality, by virtue of their influence on collective action.
The social neuroscience of biases in in-and-out-group face processing Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Sylvia Terbeck
The validity and reliability of stereotypes in social perception confirms traditional early social psychological research. Already in 1954 Gordon Allport stated that stereotypes might have a “kernel of truth.” Recent research in social neuroscience, however, contradicts Lee Jussims’ (2012) claim that the application of stereotypes increases accuracy in person perception. Person perception is inaccurate as it is insufficient when it involves only one factor (even if that factor was a reliable predictor).
A close consideration of effect sizes reviewed by Jussim (2012) Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 David Trafimow, Yogesh J. Raut
This commentary on Jussim (2012) makes two points: (1) Effect sizes often reflect artifacts of experimental design rather than real-world relevance, and (2) any argument dependent on effect sizes must correct for attenuation due to instrument reliabilities. A formula for making this correction is presented, and its ramifications on the debate over accuracy in person perception are discussed.
There is more to memory than inaccuracy and distortion Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Brady Wagoner
Exaggerated claims about inaccuracy and downplaying veracity can also be found in research on memory. This commentary on Jussim's 2012 book analyzes these developments in connection with schema and the misinformation effect's purported role in memory distortion. It concludes by looking back to the locus classicus of memory distortion (viz. Bartlett 1932), which in fact provides a more nuanced account of inaccuracy.
Two faces of social-psychological realism Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Nicholas Hoover Wilson, Julie Y. Huang
This commentary places Jussim (2012) in dialogue with sociological perspectives on social reality and the political-academic nature of scientific paradigms. Specifically, we highlight how institutions, observers, and what is being observed intersect, and discuss the implications of this intersection on measurement within the social world. We then identify similarities between Jussim's specific narrative regarding social perception research, with noted patterns of scientific change.
Accuracy, bias, self-fulfilling prophecies, and scientific self-correction Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Lee Jussim
In my Précis of Social Perception and Social Reality (Jussim 2012, henceforth abbreviated as SPSR), I argued that the social science scholarship on social perception and interpersonal expectancies was characterized by a tripartite pattern: (1) Errors, biases, and self-fulfilling prophecies in person perception were generally weak, fragile, and fleeting; (2) Social perceptions were often quite accurate; and (3) Conclusions appearing throughout the social psychology scientific literature routinely overstated the power and pervasiveness of expectancy effects, and ignored evidence of accuracy. Most commentators concurred with the validity of these conclusions. Two, however, strongly disagreed with the conclusion that the evidence consistently has shown that stereotypes are moderately to highly accurate. Several others, while agreeing with most of the specifics, also suggested that those arguments did not necessarily apply to contexts outside of those covered in SPSR. In this response, I consider all these aspects: the limitations to the tripartite pattern, the role of politics and confirmation biases in distorting scientific conclusions, common obstructions to effective scientific self-correction, and how to limit them.
Strong but flexible: How fundamental social motives support but sometimes also thwart favorable attractiveness biases Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Maria Agthe, Jon K. Maner
Research corroborates the notion that fundamental social motives play an important role in biases that favor attractive people. Although an adaptationist framework expects favorable social effects of good looks in most situations and contexts, it simultaneously allows for potential negative social reactions and outcomes that may be elicited by physical attractiveness in other contexts. These effects of attractiveness reflect the reproductive opportunities and threats posed by potential mates and rivals.
Attention and memory benefits for physical attractiveness may mediate prosocial biases Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 David Vaughn Becker
Mating motivations can explain attractiveness benefits, but what proximate mechanisms might serve as efficient causes of these biases? There is growing evidence that visual cues of physical attractiveness capture attention and facilitate memory, enhancing salience in ways that could underlie, for example, preferring one job applicant over another. All of these effects beg deeper questions about the meaning of attractiveness.
There is more: Intrasexual competitiveness, physical dominance, and intrasexual collaboration Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Abraham P. Buunk
It is emphasized that in organizational settings, the responses to same-sex attractive others are enhanced among individuals high in intrasexual competitiveness; that especially attractive rivals who are perceived as unfriendly will induce competition; that among males, physical dominance may induce more competition than physical attractiveness; and that especially males may prefer to associate with attractive same-sex others for intrasexual collaboration.
Is there an alternative explanation to the evolutionary account for financial and prosocial biases in favor of attractive individuals? Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Junhua Dang
All three critical points of the evolutionary explanation proposed by Maestripieri et al. may not withstand close scrutiny. Instead, there should be an alternative explanation that has nothing to do with genetic continuity, but stresses the rewarding property of attractiveness that results mainly from sociocultural value assignment and sexual experience pursuit.
It is not all about mating: Attractiveness predicts partner value across multiple relationship domains Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Adar B. Eisenbruch, Aaron W. Lukaszewski, James R. Roney
An account of the “beauty premium” based only on mating motivations overlooks adaptationist models of social valuation that have broader explanatory power. We suggest a broader approach based on evolved preferences for attractive partners in multiple cooperative domains (not just mating), which accounts for many observations of attractiveness-based preferential treatment more comfortably than does the target article's mating-specific account.
The type of behavior and the role of relationship length in mate choice for prosociality among physically attractive individuals Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Daniel Farrelly
Two further key aspects of prosociality as a sexual signal are explored here. First, the context in which it is used (in particular, relationship length) and, second, the different types of prosocial behaviors that exist in social interactions. Therefore, this commentary can show why prosocial behaviors are biased toward physically attractive individuals, as they can gain valuable information from them.
Understanding the physical attractiveness literature: Qualitative reviews versus meta-analysis Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Alan Feingold
The target article is a qualitative review of selected findings in the physical attractiveness literature. This commentary explains why the meta-analytic approach, frequently used by other attractiveness reviewers, is preferable for drawing unbiased conclusions about the effects of attractiveness. The article's main contribution is affording a foundation for subsequent meta-analysis of the studies discussed in a subjective fashion.
Mating motives are neither necessary nor sufficient to create the beauty premium Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Sebastian Hafenbrädl, Jason Dana
Mating motives lead decision makers to favor attractive people, but this favoritism is not sufficient to create a beauty premium in competitive settings. Further, economic approaches to discrimination, when correctly characterized, could neatly accommodate the experimental and field evidence of a beauty premium. Connecting labor economics and evolutionary psychology is laudable, but mating motives do not explain the beauty premium.
Oxytocin drives prosocial biases in favor of attractive people Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 René Hurlemann, Dirk Scheele, Wolfgang Maier, Johannes Schultz
Current perspectives on attractiveness-related prosocial biases emphasize the contribution of evolutionarily shaped mating drives. Here, we extend these concepts by highlighting the pivotal role of the hypothalamic peptide oxytocin in augmenting the salience and rewarding value of social stimuli, including the partner's face, thereby fostering social bonding in general and the stability of monogamous pair bonds and offspring care in particular.
Omitted evidence undermines sexual motives explanation for attractiveness bias Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Marianne LaFrance, Alice H. Eagly
This commentary makes three points: (1) the existing evidence does not consistently favor the proposed sex difference in attractiveness preferences, nor the fitness-related outcomes of attractiveness; (2) the neglected association of perceived attractiveness and trustworthiness allowed the authors to incorrectly attribute many findings solely to attractiveness, and (3) the importance accorded attractiveness in mate preferences is culturally shaped and likely evolutionarily novel.
The out-of-my-league effect Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Fabrice Le Lec, Theodore Alexopoulos, Béatrice Boulu-Reshef, Marie-Pierre Fayant, Franck Zenasni, Todd Lubart, Nicolas Jacquemet
When taking into account the chances of success, strategic mating motivations do imply a bias not toward the most attractive individuals, but toward average or mildly attractive individuals, undermining the explanation of Maestripieri et al. at a fundamental level. This leaves open the possibility of alternative explanations and calls for a full-fledged explicit model of courtship behavior.
Context matters for attractiveness bias Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Juwon Lee, Glenn Adams, Yexin Jessica Li, Omri Gillath
To fully understand the attractiveness bias, we propose that contextual factors or affordances should be integrated into the mating-based evolutionary account of Maestripieri et al. We review examples highlighting the role of contextual factors in the perception of attractiveness and in attractiveness bias. These suggest contextual factors differentially afford the development of preference for attractive others into observed habits of mind.
Evolutionary explanations for financial and prosocial biases: Beyond mating motivation Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Anthony C. Little
Mating motivation likely plays a role in bias to attractive individuals, but there are other complementary theories drawn from the evolutionary literature related to competition, friendship, and leadership selection that also make relevant predictions concerning biases towards attractive individuals. The relative balance of these factors will be context dependent and so help explain why the pattern of bias is sometimes variable.
What does evolutionary theory add to stereotype theory in the explanation of attractiveness bias? Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Kirby Q. Maguire, Timothy P. Racine
Maestripieri et al. seem to put forth an argument in which they become vulnerable to some of the same criticisms that they level against stereotype theory As a result, the explanatory utility of their account of attractiveness bias comes into question, and it is unclear whether it offers anything superior to stereotype theory in conceptual soundness.
How should we tackle financial and prosocial biases against unattractive people? Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Francesca Minerva
The fact that attractive people benefit from their good looks is not bad per se. Rather, what is worrisome is the fact that unattractive people are discriminated against, and that such discrimination negatively affects many aspects of their lives. I focus on the moral implications of this discrimination and on the possible measures that could be taken to alleviate it.
Just My Imagination: Beauty premium and the evolved mental model Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Ryo Oda
Imagination, an important feature of the human mind, may be at the root of the beauty premium. The evolved human capacity for simulating the real world, developed as an adaptation to a complex social environment, may offer the key to understanding this and many other aspects of human behavior.
The biasing effects of appearances go beyond physical attractiveness and mating motives Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Christopher Y. Olivola, Alexander Todorov
The influence of appearances goes well beyond physical attractiveness and includes the surprisingly powerful impact of “face-ism” – the tendency to stereotype individuals based on their facial features. A growing body of research has revealed that these face-based social attributions bias the outcomes of labor markets and experimental economic games in ways that are hard to explain via evolutionary mating motives.
An assessment of the mating motive explanation of the beauty premium in market-based settings Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Enrichetta Ravina
Labor market and real-life studies were not designed to discriminate between evolutionary and taste-based and stereotype explanations for the beauty premium, have too many confounding effects, and lack crucial information. Smaller-stake and experimental studies provide more compelling evidence in favor of mating motives and suggest the direction of future research for the economists' field studies.
Attentional and affective biases for attractive females emerge early in development Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Jennifer Lynn Rennels, Stephanie Ann Verba
Predominant experience with females early in development results in infants developing an attractive, female-like facial representation that guides children's attention toward and affective preferences for attractive females. When combined with increased interest in the other sex at puberty, these early emerging biases might help explain the robust prosocial and financial biases men exhibit toward attractive women during adulthood.
Prosocial behavior as sexual signaling Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Gilbert Roberts
Maestripieri et al. provide an important service in highlighting prosocial biases toward attractive people from a cross-disciplinary perspective. Here I comment on the conceptual and critical side of their review of evolutionary psychology studies. I propose that further work should be focused on understanding the role of signaling in prosocial behavior.
The wolf will live with the lamb Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Richard Ronay, Joshua M. Tybur
Maestripieri et al. pit evolutionary psychology against social psychological and economic perspectives in a winner-take-all empirical battle. In doing so, they risk positioning evolutionary psychology as an antagonistic subdisciplinary enterprise. We worry that such a framing may exacerbate tensions between “competing” scientific perspectives and limit evolutionary psychology's potential to serve as a unifying core theory.
Attractiveness bias: A cognitive explanation Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Stevie S. Schein, Logan T. Trujillo, Judith H. Langlois
According to cognitive averaging theory, preferences for attractive faces result from their similarity to facial prototypes, the categorical central tendencies of a population of faces. Prototypical faces are processed more fluently, resulting in increased positive affect in the viewer.
Tinbergen's “four questions” provides a formal framework for a more complete understanding of prosocial biases in favour of attractive people Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Ian D. Stephen, Darren Burke, Danielle Sulikowski
We adopt Tinbergen's (1963) “four questions” approach to strengthen the criticism by Maestripieri et al. of the non-evolutionary accounts of favouritism toward attractive individuals, by showing which levels of explanation are lacking in these accounts. We also use this approach to propose ways in which the evolutionary account may be extended and strengthened.
Moving forward with interdisciplinary research on attractiveness-related biases Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-03-22 Dario Maestripieri, Andrea Henry, Nora Nickels
In our response, we review and address the comments on our target article made in the 25 commentaries. First, we review and discuss the commentaries that recognized the value of our approach, accepted the main premises and conclusions of our target article, and suggested further avenues for research on attractiveness-related biases. We then respond to commentators who either misinterpreted some parts of our target article or made statements with which we disagree. These commentaries provided us with an opportunity to clarify some aspects of our target article, for example, the fact that we address both the functional significance of attractiveness-related biases and their underlying mechanisms. We provide a rebuttal to two commentaries, in which we are accused of poor scholarship. We conclude our response by addressing two commentaries that discussed the societal implications of the occurrence of attractiveness-related biases in the labor market by briefly discussing the relationship between scientific research and social policy.
The influence of communication mode on written language processing and beyond Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Laura Barca, Giovanni Pezzulo
Empirical evidence suggests a broad impact of communication mode on cognition at large, beyond language processing. Using a sign language since infancy might shape the representation of words and other linguistic stimuli – for example, incorporating in it the movements and signs used to express them. Once integrated into linguistic representations, this visuo-motor content can affect deaf signers’ linguistic and cognitive processing.
Where does (sign) language begin? Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Iris Berent, Amanda Dupuis
Goldin-Meadow & Brentari (G-M&B;) outline several criteria for delineating the boundaries between (discrete) signs and (continuous) gestures. However, the complex links between linguistics forms and their phonetic realizations defy such heuristics. A systematic exploration of language structure by mouth and by hand may help get us closer to answering the important challenge outlined in this target article.
Sign, language, and gesture in the brain: Some comments Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Ruth Campbell, Bencie Woll
In contrast with two widely held and contradictory views – that sign languages of deaf people are “just gestures,” or that sign languages are “just like spoken languages” – the view from sign linguistics and developmental research in cognition presented by Goldin-Meadow & Brentari (G-M&B;) indicates a more complex picture. We propose that neuroscience research suggests that a similar approach needs to be taken and offer some examples from research on the brain bases of sign language perception.
Is it language (yet)? The allure of the gesture-language binary Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Marie Coppola, Ann Senghas
Goldin-Meadow & Brentari (G-M&B;) challenge the traditional separation between gestural and categorical language by modality, but they retain a binary distinction. However, multiple dimensions, particularly discreteness and combinatoriality, better carve up the range of linguistic and nonlinguistic human communication. Investigating transformation over time along these dimensions will reveal how the nature of language reflects human minds, rather than the world to which language refers.
The physiognomic unity of sign, word, and gesture Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Carlos Cornejo, Roberto Musa
Goldin-Meadow & Brentari (G-M&B;) are implicitly going against the dominant paradigm in language research, namely, the “speech as written language” metaphor that portrays vocal sounds and bodily signs as means of delivering stable word meanings. We argue that Heinz Werner's classical research on the physiognomic properties of language supports and complements their view of sign and gesture as a unified system.
Building a single proposition from imagistic and categorical components Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Kathryn Davidson
Bimodal bilingual language provides further evidence for the viewpoint advocated by Goldin-Meadow & Brentari (G-M&B;) that sign, speech, and gesture work together to create a single proposition, illustrating the potential in each set of articulators for both imagistic and categorical components. Recent advances in formal semantics provide a framework for incorporating both imagistic and categorical components into a single compositional system.
Perspectives on gesture from autism spectrum disorder: Alterations in timing and function Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Inge-Marie Eigsti, Ashley de Marchena
The target article highlights the utility of new technology to study sign language and gesture. Research in special populations – specifically, individuals with autism spectrum disorder, ASD – may further illuminate sign/gesture similarities and differences and lead to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of growth and change. Even verbally fluent speakers with ASD display distinctive qualities in sign and gesture.
How to distinguish gesture from sign: New technology is not the answer Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Karen Emmorey
Linguistic and psycholinguistic tests will be more useful than motion capture technology in calibrating the borders between sign and gesture. The analogy between motion capture (mocap) technology and the spectrograph is flawed because only vocal articulators are hidden. Although information about gradience and variability will be obtained, the technology provides less information about linguistic constraints and categories. Better models are needed to account for differences between co-speech and co-sign gesture (e.g., different degrees of optionality, existence of beat gestures).
Emoticons in text may function like gestures in spoken or signed communication Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Laurie Beth Feldman, Cecilia R. Aragon, Nan-Chen Chen, Judith F. Kroll
We draw parallels between emoticons in textual communication and gesture in signed language with respect to the interdependence of codes by describing two contexts under which the behavior of emoticons in textual communication resembles that of gesture in speech. Generalizing from those findings, we propose that gesture is likely characterized by a nuanced interdependence with language whether signed, spoken or texted.
Why space is not one-dimensional: Location may be categorical and imagistic Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Marcel R. Giezen, Brendan Costello, Manuel Carreiras
In our commentary, we raise concerns with the idea that location should be considered a gestural component of sign languages. We argue that psycholinguistic studies provide evidence for location as a “categorical” element of signs. More generally, we propose that the use of space in sign languages comes in many flavours and may be both categorical and imagistic.
Pros and cons of blurring gesture-language lines: An evolutionary linguistic perspective Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Matthew L. Hall
The target article's emphasis on distinguishing sign from gesture may resolve one important objection to gesture-first theories of language evolution. However, this approach risks undervaluing the gradual progression from nonlanguage to language over hominin evolution, and in emerging sign systems today. I call for less emphasis on drawing boundaries and more emphasis on understanding the processes of change.
Good things come in threes: Communicative acts comprise linguistic, imagistic, and modifying components Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Lena Kästner, Albert Newen
Gesture and sign form an integrated communication system, as do gesture and speech. Communicative acts in both systems combine categorical linguistic (words or signs) with imagistic (gestures) components. Additionally, both sign and speech can employ modifying components that convey iconic information tied to a linguistic base morpheme. An accurate analysis of communicative acts must take this third category into account.
Languages as semiotically heterogenous systems Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Adam Kendon
The target article is consistent with seeing languages as semiotically heterogenous, using categorial, depictive, and analogic semiotic signs. “Gesture,” used in the target article, is shown to be vague and not useful. Kendon's view, criticised in the target, is restated. His proposal for comparative semiotic analyses of how visible bodily action is used in utterance production is reexplained.
Why would the discovery of gestures produced by signers jeopardize the experimental finding of gesture-speech mismatch? Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Timothy Koschmann
Mismatch occurs when there is a discrepancy between produced gestures and co-occurring speech. In this commentary, I explore why research on mismatch might be called into question by changing views of what constitutes a gesture. I argue that the experimental procedure for producing mismatch, through its coding methods, is blind to the tight temporal coordination of gesture and affiliated talk.
Understanding gesture in sign and speech: Perspectives from theory of mind, bilingualism, and acting Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Usha Lakshmanan, Zachary Pilot
In their article, Goldin-Meadow & Brentari (G-M&B;) assert that researchers must differentiate between sign/speech and gesture. We propose that this distinction may be useful if situated within a two-systems approach to theory of mind (ToM) and discuss how drawing upon perspectives from bilingualism and acting can help us understand the role of gesture in spoken/sign language.
What is a gesture? A lesson from comparative gesture research Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Katja Liebal
Research into nonhuman primates’ gestures is often limited by the lack of clear criteria to define a gesture and by studying gestures separately from other communicative means. Despite the fundamental differences between the gestural communication of humans and other primates, I argue that sign language research might benefit from the lessons learned from these drawbacks and the current developments in primate communication research.
Same or different: Common pathways of behavioral biomarkers in infants and children with neurodevelopmental disorders? Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Peter B. Marschik, Dajie Zhang, Gianluca Esposito, Sven Bölte, Christa Einspieler, Jeff Sigafoos
The extent to which early motor patterns represent antecedents to later communicative functions, and the emergence of gesture and/or sign as potential communicative acts in neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), are research questions that have received recent attention. It is important to keep in mind that different NDDs have different neurological underpinnings, with correspondingly different implications for their conceptualization, detection, and treatment.
An evolutionary approach to sign language emergence: From state to process Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Yasamin Motamedi
Understanding the relationship between gesture, sign, and speech offers a valuable tool for investigating how language emerges from a nonlinguistic state. We propose that the focus on linguistic status is problematic, and a shift to focus on the processes that shape these systems serves to explain the relationship between them and contributes to the central question of how language evolves.
Gesture or sign? A categorization problem Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Corrine Occhino, Sherman Wilcox
Goldin-Meadow & Brentari (G-M&B;) rely on a formalist approach to language, leading them to seek objective criteria by which to distinguish language and gesture. This results in the assumption that gradient aspects of signs are gesture. Usage-based theories challenge this view, maintaining that all linguistic units exhibit gradience. Instead, we propose that the distinction between language and gesture is a categorization problem.
Language readiness and learning among deaf children Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-04-26 Anne E. Pfister, Daniel H. Lende
We applaud Goldin-Meadow & Brentari's (G-M&B;'s) significant efforts to consider the linkages between sign, gesture, and language. Research on deaf children and sign language acquisition can broaden the G-M&B; approach by considering how language readiness is also a social phenomenon and that distinctions between imagistic and categorical formats rely on language practices and contexts.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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