Linguistic relativity is the idea that language differences alone can affect how we perceive world experiences and thus can cause us to behave differently.
In an Edge essay, Lera Boroditsky discusses some of her research intoÂ linguistic relativity and how language use (grammar, word choice and language itself) vastly alters our perceptions and thought processes, offering some interesting examples.
Even basic aspects of time perception can be affected by language. For example, English speakers prefer to talk about duration in terms of length (e.g., “That was a short talk,” “The meeting didn’t take long”), while Spanish and Greek speakers prefer to talk about time in terms of amount, relying more on words like “much” “big”, and “little” rather than “short” and “long” Our research into such basic cognitive abilities as estimating duration shows that speakers of different languages differ in ways predicted by the patterns of metaphors in their language. (For example, when asked to estimate duration, English speakers are more likely to be confused by distance information, estimating that a line of greater length remains on the test screen for a longer period of time, whereas Greek speakers are more likely to be confused by amount, estimating that a container that is fuller remains longer on the screen.)
via Mind Hacks