Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cognitive Comedy

Undoubtedly, some of you are Chomsky (qua linguist) fans, and some of you are, like me, Ali G fans. If either is the case, or both, then you have to check this out: Ali G interviews Noam Chomsky (via Omi Brain). The very fact that Ali G somehow manages to get into the man's office and get him on camera is, by itself, hilarious, but the interview is pretty funny too (if you didn't see the "bilingual" joke coming, slap yourself).

10 comments:

Brandon said...

That's awesome. I'm a fan of Chomsky qua linguist, but also think he can be absurdly pompous, so I found this interview to be just hilarious. It isn't the best Ali G interview I've seen, but it was great.

Brandon said...

This is off-topic, but I was wondering what your thoughts were on the following article (about IAT):

http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20060422/bob9.asp

Chris said...

Brandon, thanks for the link. I've written about the IAT before, and have been skeptical since it first came out (right when I was starting grad school). I think this quote from the article gets it right:

"Rarely has a methodological tool garnered such strong adherents and detractors," von Hippel says. "The IAT should be vigorously researched and debated, but we still do not really understand what it reveals."

There are several methodological problems with the IAT, but the biggest problem is that no one really knows what IAT scores mean. It's a pretty big leap to say that they indicate implicit prejudice, or even implicit attitudes. It's a shame that it's received so much attention outside of psychology, without anyone having any clear idea how to interpret it. But for the most part, everyone's going about things in the right way: conducting study after study to figure out what the hell's going on.

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