Bilingualism Provides a More Vivid Worldview
Mastery of a second language alters the way one perceives situations, offering a more complete worldview. It's like two minds alive within one person.
We've written at length here on Big Think all about the many benefits of learning a new language. Few life skills match language-learning's ability to better your career prospects while simultaneously making you a better person more capable of empathy and understanding. Now, as reported by Science Mag's Nicholas Weiler, a new study reveals yet another advantage to multilingualism: a heightened ability to perceive the world.
"The results suggest that a second language can play an important unconscious role in framing perception, the authors conclude online this month in Psychological Science. 'By having another language, you have an alternative vision of the world,' [psycholinguist Panos] Athanasopoulos says. 'You can listen to music from only one speaker, or you can listen in stereo … It’s the same with language.'"
That's kind of an interesting thought. Later on in the piece, Weiler quotes Athanasopoulos as saying that being bilingual is like having two minds for one person. What it amounts to, says Weiler, is a heightened flexibility for thinking. Here's an example he uses to explain:
"Where did the thief go? You might get a more accurate answer if you ask the question in German. How did she get away? Now you might want to switch to English. Speakers of the two languages put different emphasis on actions and their consequences, influencing the way they think about the world, according to a new study. The work also finds that bilinguals may get the best of both worldviews."
You can access the study here.
Read more at ScienceMag.
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Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
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