Semiotic Psychology: Speech as an Index of Emotions and Attitudes

Semiotic Psychology: Speech as an Index of Emotions and Attitudes

Semiotic Psychology: Speech as an Index of Emotions and Attitudes

Semiotic Psychology: Speech as an Index of Emotions and Attitudes

Synopsis

"Semiotic Psychology is a special and selective history that focuses on naturally occurring language and its meanings. A review of classic studies from the 1930s through the 1950s shows how content analysis can examine discourse as diverse as plays and psychiatric interviews. This book provides the foundations of semiotic psychology, including its methodological and theoretical origins in psychology and anthropological linguistics, and illuminates the impact of cultural forces on thinking, emotion, attitude and communication. It draws together the major threads under lying classic studies in the field, integrating theories that may never have appeared together previously. Semiotic Psychology will be of interest to semiotician, sociologists, social and clinical psychologists, linguistic anthropologists, cognitivists, and social scientists utilizing content analysis." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

This book represents a special kind of history. First, it recounts the history of an academic discipline. Semiotic Psychology explores a body of psychological research, from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, that focuses on naturally occurring language and its meanings. It provides an understanding of the theoretical and methodological backdrop of a body of research, undertaken at a time when social and clinical psychology were still strongly linked to psychophysics, on the one hand, and to psychoanalysis, on the other. Much of this research has been forgotten today, and reading the book makes us aware of how forward-thinking and in many ways ahead of their time the scholars who produced it were.

Second, this book presents a very selective history. The classic studies reviewed do not contain any examples of experimental work. Nevertheless, much such work in the 1950s using the semantic differential is in the domain of semiotic psychology. Two examples of this category of research are the experimental examination of the impact of language spoken on the meanings of words for bilinguals (Lambert,Havelka, &Crosby, 1959) and the seminal study by Lambert and his colleagues which employed the matched guise technique to examine the role of language attitudes in judgments of personality (Lambert, Gardner,Hodgson, &Fillenbaum, 1960). In contrast, Semiotic Psychology provides accounts of interactional talk, in interviews, conversations, or written works. The emphasis on analysis of texts was an important step in this research, and has begun to . . .

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