2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

The Power of Words

Allison M. Kelly
Dr. Paul Shapiro, Faculty Mentor

By exploring the potential language has to influence human perspective and worldview one can better understand human relations. This study set out to prove that experience and age does affect one’s view of elements within life.  A survey was given to college aged students in order to study their maturation; as examined through their word use and the vocabulary used when describing certain life themes. The data shows that though there is no significant correlation between age and word choice, there is an observable difference between the word choice of underclassmen and the word choice of upperclassmen. Upperclassmen provided more words and words that were more focused to the topic. This means that there is a maturation that occurs throughout the college experience- and it does shift one’s world views, as seen from a linguistic standpoint. This study found that wisdom does not come with age, but rather experience. 

Keywords: Linguistic Relativity, Anthropology


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 411-4
Location: VH 1320
Time: 3:15

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