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Differences in how english and german speakers talk and reason about CAUSE

Klettke, Bianca and Wolff, Phillip 2003, Differences in how english and german speakers talk and reason about CAUSE, in Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, N.J., pp. 675-680.

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Title Differences in how english and german speakers talk and reason about CAUSE
Author(s) Klettke, BiancaORCID iD for Klettke, Bianca orcid.org/0000-0003-4602-2435
Wolff, Phillip
Conference name Cognitive Science Society (U.S.). Conference. (25th : 2003 : Boston, Mass.)
Conference location Boston, Massachusetts
Conference dates July 31 - August 2 2003
Title of proceedings Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
Editor(s) Alterman, Richard
Kirsh, David
Publication date 2003
Conference series Cognitive Science Society Conference
Start page 675
End page 680
Publisher Lawrence Erlbaum
Place of publication Mahwah, N.J.
Summary This research identifies how English and German speakers differ in the range of situations they describe as causal and how these difference may influence causal reasoning. In Experiments 1 and 2, English and German speakers described 3D animations of complex events using CAUSE verbs (cause, get) and ENABLE verbs (let, enable). As predicted, English speakers used CAUSE verbs to describe a wider range of events than German speakers. In Experiment 3, English and German speakers viewed 3D animations of CAUSE and ENABLE events and then estimated the likelihood of the effect (E) in the presence of the affector (A), p(E|A), in hypothetical situations similar to the one they just saw. Given the results of Experiments 1 and 2, we predicted that German speakers’ estimates of p(E|A) would be higher than English speakers’ estimates of p(E|A) for ENABLE events, but not necessarily for CAUSE events. The results were as predicted. The findings suggest that English and German speakers differ in the range of situations they describe as causal and that these differences in linguistic coding may lead to differences in causal reasoning.
Language eng
Field of Research 170103 Educational Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2003, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30006228

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Psychology
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