Human language, our great social technology, reflects that which it describes through the stories it allows to be told and us, the tellers of those stories. Although language’s shaping effect on thinking has long been controversial (1 ?–3), we know that a rich array of metaphor encodes our conceptualizations (4), word choice reflects our internal motives and immediate social roles (5 ?–7), and the way a language represents the present and future may condition economic choices (8).
In 1969, Boucher and Osgood (9) framed the Pollyanna hypothesis: a hypothetical, universal positivity bias in human communication. From a selection of …
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