Anthropology / Everything Human

Are Colors Universal?

Are Colors Universal?

How do language, biology, and culture shape an individual’s experience of color? A journalist investigates the anthropological debate about whether color is a human universal.

Remember the meme #TheDress? Was it white and gold, or blue and black? With the help of Nicola Jones, a freelance science journalist who writes for Nature and SAPIENS, host Jen Shannon explores the question of color perception to find answers. She learns about the book The World Color Survey, an Amazonian tribe in Peru whose language has no color words, and the biology of the human eye.

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Nicola Jones is a science reporter and journalist. Follow her on Twitter @nicolakimjones.

Simon Overall is a linguist and guest lecturer at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Follow him on Twitter @ginsengburger.

For more on the debate about color perception, read Jones’ article at SAPIENS: “Do You See What I See?

SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human is part of the American Anthropological Association Podcast Library.

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