Our research mostly focuses on how the properties of our social network (e.g., size, density) influence how good we are at understanding others, at processing information, and at learning and updating our representations . We examine these questions using a combination of individual differences, experimental, and computational methods and across different linguistic levels (phonological, lexical, semantic). We also aim at understanding how social network effects at the individual level cascade to effects at the community level and influence language evolution and change.
Read recent news articles about our research:
- The Economist, August 8, 2019 – on how larger communities create less complex languages
- The Times, July 19, 2019 – on how larger communities create less complex languages
- Society for Human Resources Management, August 6, 2019 – on how things sound less credible when said with a foreign accent
Check out our latest papers:
- Lev-Ari, S. & Sebanz, N. (in press) Interacting with multiple partners improves communication skills Cognitive Science
TLDR:We show that talking to more people improves communication skills even when those we talk to are passive listeners who don’t talk back. We further show that this might be because talking to multiple people increases the tendency to take perspective.
- Iacozza, S. , Meyer, A.S. & Lev-Ari, S. (in press) How in-group bias influences the level of detail of speaker-specific information encoded in novel lexical representations
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
TLDR: We process and represent the speech of ingorup and outgroup members differently. The greater individuals’ implicit ingroup bias, the more they store speech from ingroup speakers in more detail than speech from outgroup speakers. We show this by looking at participants’ source memory for novel words they learn from (speakers presented as) ingroup and outgroup members.
- Lev-Ari, S. (2020) Communities of different size create different categorization systems. In Ravignani, A. and Barbieri, C. and Martins, M. and Flaherty, M. and Jadoul, Y. and Lattenkamp, E. and Little, H. and Mudd, K. and Verhoef, T. (Eds.) The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (EvoLang13), Brussels, Belgium.
- Raviv, L., Meyer, A.S., & Lev-Ari, S. (2020) Network structure and the cultural evolution of linguistic structure: A group communication experiment. In Ravignani, A. and Barbieri, C. and Martins, M. and Flaherty, M. and Jadoul, Y. and Lattenkamp, E. and Little, H. and Mudd, K. and Verhoef, T. (Eds.) The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (EvoLang13), Brussels, Belgium.
- Lev-Ari, S. (2020). The influence of social network properties on language processing and use. In M. S. Vitevitch (Ed.), Network Science in Cognitive Psychology. New York, NY: Routledge.