Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Slip Of The Tongue: Word Substitution Mistakes Have More To Do With

Date:
December 14, 2004
Source:
American Psychological Society
Summary:
Why is it that we can look at something, know what it is and still call a rose by a different name? Breaking from conventional wisdom, new research suggests that it isn't a rushed pace or distraction that makes us slip up, but rather a hiccup in how we plan what we're going to say that messes things up.

Why is it that we can look at something, know what it is and still call a rose by a different name? Breaking from conventional wisdom, new research suggests that it isn't a rushed pace or distraction that makes us slip up, but rather a hiccup in how we plan what we're going to say that messes things up.

People usually look at things before they name them. For instance, before they say "a hammer," they look at the hammer for a second. But what about when they see a hammer and unintentionally call it "an axe"? Zenzi M. Griffin, Georgia Institute of Technology, assumed people made the mistake when they didn't look at the hammer long enough, which could reflect rushed word preparation, forgetting to check the name they had mentally prepared against the object, or paying too much attention to other objects.

But Griffin discovered that people who say "axe" when they mean "hammer" look at the hammer just as long as they do when they say "hammer." However, they look at the hammer longer after they call it "an axe," apparently as they prepare to correct their mistake. In her study, "The Eyes Are Right When the Mouth Is Wrong," Griffin concluded that, as with a gesture, a person's gaze may accurately reflect what he intends, even if his words do not. The study will be published in the December issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the American Psychological Society.

Griffin had participants name two or three line-drawn objects or describe the actions in line-drawn scenes and measured their eye movements while they spoke. She identified 41 full or partial mistakes, indicated by participants saying something like "oops," or "no," or interrupting what they were saying.

Results showed that whether they identified the items correctly or incorrectly, the amount of time participants spent looking at the drawings beforehand was almost the same. This went against Griffin's prediction that people tend to misname objects because they don't look at them long enough.

These results have three implications: 1) word-substitution mistakes are more indicative of problems in planning speech than problems in thought or attention; 2) speech errors are not caused by a person rushing through word preparation or omitting a sub-process; and 3) looking at an object is not a guarantee that the person will say it correctly.

###

Psychological Science is ranked among the top 10 general psychology journals for impact by the Institute for Scientific Information. The American Psychological Society represents psychologists advocating science-based research in the public's interest.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Psychological Society. "Slip Of The Tongue: Word Substitution Mistakes Have More To Do With." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041208231052.htm>.
American Psychological Society. (2004, December 14). Slip Of The Tongue: Word Substitution Mistakes Have More To Do With. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041208231052.htm
American Psychological Society. "Slip Of The Tongue: Word Substitution Mistakes Have More To Do With." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041208231052.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins