Steven Pinker on Language and Violence

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg View columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He blogs at the Big Picture and is the author of “Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy.”
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This week on our Masters in Business podcast, we speak with Steven Pinker, a psychology professor at Harvard and a popular author who specializes in visual cognition and psycholinguistics. In addition to winning numerous awards, Pinker is the author of many books, the most recent of which is, "The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century." 

In our discussion, Pinker explains where language comes from, how we learn to speak, and the role language plays in human psychology. We also touch on the global decline in violence, both from crime and war -- which sometimes might seem to be at odds with the headlines. This kind of counterintuitive data can be instructive for investors. 

 

You can stream the full podcast below, or download it on iTunes, SoundCloud or Bloomberg. All of our earlier podcasts are at iTunesSoundCloud and Bloomberg.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.net