The latest finding points towards linguistic cues that give away the social identity of a communicator.
Each time we open our mouths, we give away subtle clues about our social identity. These come via the language differences we employ in our communicative repertoire.
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People were actually able to infer a speaker’s social identity by his or her use of abstract and concrete linguistic terms. The description he or she used to express regarding the behavior of others proved to be crucial in the inventory of his or her social identity.
Thus language sure is a potent technique for communication. By that we mean not only in the conventional sense but in the more subtle and mysterious manner as well.
Many things are left unsaid by language but they too give away the gist of the matter via subtle cues in the subtext of the overall linguistic variety.
Two people who speak about others in he same manner may employ different inflections that point out their differing attitudes. This also shows us who they are in a very succinct way. There are very subtle differences that show up if we are sensitive to the speech of others.
The cherished ideals, general statements and valued ideas about others held by people thus come out in the open if we only dig a little deeper into their body language and linguistic nuances. It is not just what you say but how you say it that matters in the scheme of things.
Concrete examples show that the action was specific and took place only once. But using adjectives and nouns only goes to prove that the person one is talking about has certain characteristics that are a permanent part of his or her personality.
We also use these concrete and abstract methods of description differently for outsiders and insiders. Normally insiders who are in our group are favorably described in abstract terms. And their negative features are described by concrete terms.
But outsiders who are excluded are described favorably via concrete terminology and their bad behaviors are described using abstract methods. This shows the filtering aspects of language.
The experiment involved describing a man named Peter. For half the participants, Peter was said to be a Democrat. For the other half, he was a Republican.
The ways used to describe, disparage and laud Peter showed that these subtle linguistic cues went deeper than usual in one’s language skills.
This new research got published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.