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A cross-cultural study on color perception : comparing Turkish and Non-Turkish Speakers' perception of blue

Kadıhasanoğlu, Didem
Turkish speakers differentiate the blue region of color spectrum into mavi (blue) and lacivert (dark blue); whereas non-Turkish speakers in this study had only one color term in the blue region. The present study aimed to explore the predictions of the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis. Operationally, Categorical Perception (CP) effects were used. In Experiment 1, Turkish speakers performed a naming task to determine an average category boundary between mavi and lacivert. In Experiment 2, both Turkish and non-Turkish speakers’ color-difference detection thresholds were estimated on the average boundary as well as within the mavi and lacivert categories. The thresholds were also estimated in the green region, in which both groups had only one color term. 2-TAFC method, which eliminates the effects of memory or labeling and isolates the perceptual processes, was used to estimate the thresholds. Turkish speakers, and not non-Turkish speakers, were predicted to show CP effects only in the blue region: thresholds should be lower on the boundary than within-category. The result revealed that Turkish speakers’ color-difference detection thresholds were lower than those of non-Turkish speakers both in the blue and the green regions. The difference in the green region does not rule out the LRH. It is possible that this difference resulted from the limitations of the study. Finally, in Experiment 3, Turkish speakers’ thresholds were also estimated on their individual boundaries. The patterns of the thresholds revealed by Experiment 3 were similar to the pattern of the thresholds in Experiment 2.