Monday, August 4, 2014

Morality and Competence Are Universal Concepts Among Humans

A team of researchers looking for ubiquitous human concepts in a dozen languages as diverse as the Afro-Asiatic tongue Afar and the Australian language Wik-mungkan discovered that ideas of morality — reflected in words that translate as “good,” “bad,” “disobedient,” and “ashamed” — occur in all 12. Also common are concepts of competence, or lack thereof: “strong,” “weak,” “useless,” and “stupid,” says the team, led by Gerard Saucier of the University of Oregon. The ubiquity of the concept of shame may indicate that a central part of the human experience is the response to behavioral constraints imposed by social groups, the researchers suggest.



No comments: