Psychological Perspectives: Telling a symbol from a sign

Why is it important to know the difference? It’s due to the fact that life is full of experiences, both while we’re awake and sleeping. Reading, watching a movie, reviewing a dream, fantasizing, imagining, listening to music and much more make up our experiences. Each experience is filled with symbols, signs or both.

Signs are most familiar to us. As an example, a stop sign comes to mind but our language also includes signs. Each word has a specific meaning. This specificity indicates the word is a sign. Now, let’s suppose you hear a language other than your natural language. Assuming you spea...


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