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Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Language, the Brain, and Behavior

This is lesson from George Orwell. 

Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, wrote one of the most popular 20th century English novels in 1949 entitled, Nineteen Eighty-Four (35 years in the future). The appendix in the book was referred to as “The Newspeak Appendix” and it described a new language, the purpose of which was to control thought. Orwell showed how language affects the brain, the mind (thought), and behavior. 

A Newspeak root word served as both a noun and a verb, thereby reducing the total number of words in the language. For example, “think” is both a noun and verb, so the word thought is not required and could be abolished. Newspeak was also spoken in staccato rhythms with syllables that were easy to pronounce, thus making speech more automatic and nonconscious and would reduce the likelihood of thought.

According to this scenario, if the word “freedom” or “liberty” were not in the vocabulary, the concept would not exist. By this logic, if a language had a word such as democracy (demo = common people + cracy = rule or government by), that term would carry with it a very significant concept. In my discipline and learning system, the four vocabulary terms were chosen specifically because of the concepts they represent.

For example, the reason that the Hierarchy of Social Development is so powerful in having students WANT to behave responsibly and achieve at the highest level (Level D, Democracy) is that at this level a person feels the satisfaction that comes from being motivated for doing what is right. All the levels are clearly explained and illustrated in Children of the Rainbow School.

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Dr. Marvin Marshall
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