Psychology

Edinburgh Psychology Keynote Talk

Speaker: Kevin J. Holmes (Department of Psychology, Reed College)

Title: How Linguistic Framing Shapes Socially Charged Inferences: Labels, Syntax, and Pragmatic Reasoning

Abstract: Through their choice of words and syntactic structures, people frame everything from abstract concepts to everyday events in ways that have been shown to affect the inferences observers make. In this talk, I will explore the effects of two kinds of linguistic framing common in media reports and public discourse about socially charged issues. First, I will present evidence that statements like “Christians are just as likely as Muslims to commit terrorist acts” unwittingly perpetuate the very stereotypes they appear to challenge, but only when people are unmotivated to interrogate their implications. Second, I will show that the rhetorical strategy of describing the alleged perpetrator of a crime as the “real” victim (i.e., of false accusations) influences observers’ attitudes by prompting them to interpret the victim label as a reliable signal of who deserves support. Across both lines of research, the findings highlight pragmatic reasoning as a key mechanism by which language shapes thinking about important, real-world issues.

Further information

For a link to join the talk email Dan Mirman.

Contact

May 05 2021 -

Edinburgh Psychology Keynote Talk

2021-05-05: How Linguistic Framing Shapes Socially Charged Inferences: Labels, Syntax, and Pragmatic Reasoning

Online via link invitation