What can size tell us about abstract conceptual processing?

Yao, Bo and Taylor, Jack and Sereno, Sara C. (2022) What can size tell us about abstract conceptual processing? Journal of Memory and Language, 127. ISSN 0749-596X

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Embodied cognition theories propose that abstract concepts are grounded in a variety of exogenous and endogenous experiences which may be flexibly activated across contexts and tasks. In three experiments, we explored how semantic size (i.e., the magnitude, dimension or extent of an object or a concept) of abstract (vs concrete) concepts is mentally represented. We show that abstract size is metaphorically associated with the physical size of concrete objects (Experiment 1) and can produce a semantic-font size congruency effect comparable to that demonstrated in concrete words during online lexical processing (Experiment 2). Critically, this size congruency effect is large when a word is judged by its semantic size but significantly smaller when it is judged by its emotionality (Experiment 3), regardless of concreteness. Our results suggest that semantic size of abstract concepts can be grounded in visual size, which is activated adaptively under different task demands. The present findings advocate flexible embodiment of semantic representations, with an emphasis on the role of task effects on conceptual processing.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Memory and Language
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3205
Subjects:
ID Code:
176100
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
16 Sep 2022 13:25
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2022 02:45