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TOK: Language and emotion

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Christina Schmidt

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of TOK: Language and emotion

Almost all language can be used to influence emotions
Knowledge Issue
To what extent does the use of language influence one's emotion?
Real Life Situation
The language used in this
magazine article generates
the idea that in order to
have confidence/self esteem,
one must have a "good" body.
The language used in this
teen magazine can influence
the emotions of readers as
they feel that confidence is
dependent on one's body image.
The success of language being able to influence emotion could be limited

People have the ability to ignore their emotions

It is possible to make a conscious decision to separate emotion

Using reason to critically analyze language

Personal example; thinking of the original intent rather than relying on my emotional reaction
External Factors
Different perspectives of language and the nature of it.

Language can be subjective; culture

The use of language depending on the person's culture/environment can evoke very different emotions.

When someone is trying to use language to cause an emotional response, they may or may not be successful depending on the culture of the audience
Our use of language can influence our emotions allowing us to sense the moods, tones and intentions of others.

However we can not only rely on emotion as a way of knowing as it is important to consider other factors such as culture and context.

Reason is also needed when using language to gain knowledge about the original intention of the language.

RLS: shouldn't let article influence you

critical evaluation
Christina Schmidt
Language and Emotion
People can use language to convey certain ideas

Create an emotive response from the reader

In order to catch people's attention, people who write acclaimed literature get recognition due to their ability to use language effective in stirring one's emotions

Deliberate use of emotive language is used to have an impact the feelings of the reader/listener
Effects of emotive words
Limitations of language
External factors; culture and context
Emotive Language: Novels, Speeches, Newspapers
"He moved her chemically more than anyone she had ever met, that all other men seemed pale beside him." from F. Scott Fitzgerald's A New Leaf .

“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” from Martin Luther King Jr. 's "I Have A Dream"

"We Must Make Them Pay" from a newspaper article about gunmen who shot and paralyzed 5 year old Thusha Kamaleswaran.
Limitations of language's impact on emotion
Importance of Context
It is important to understand the context of language

Context influences the emotions felt

Real Life Example: Hitler's speeches

"The struggle for world domination will be fought entirely between us, between Germans and Jews. All else is facade and illusion. Behind England stands Israel, and behind France, and behind the United States. Even when we have driven the Jew out of Germany, he remains our world enemy."

At the time: uplifting, inspiring, motivates support

Today: disturbing, chilling, racist
Full transcript