Emotional valence and physical space: Limits of interaction

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URI: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:21-opus-71005
Dokumentart: Preprint
Date: 2011
Source: erschienen in: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Language: English
Faculty: 7 Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Department: Psychologie
DDC Classifikation: 150 - Psychology
Keywords: Valenz <Linguistik> , Gefühl
Other Keywords:
Grounded cognition , Body-specificity hypothesis , Emotional valence , Handedness
License: http://tobias-lib.uni-tuebingen.de/doku/lic_mit_pod.php?la=de http://tobias-lib.uni-tuebingen.de/doku/lic_mit_pod.php?la=en
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According to the body-specificity hypothesis, people associate positive things with the side of space that corresponds to their dominant hand, and negative things with the side corresponding to their non-dominant hand. Our aim was to find out whether this association holds also true for a response time study employing linguistic stimuli, and whether such an association is activated automatically. Four experiments explored this association using positive and negative words. In Exp. 1, right-handers made a lexical judgment by pressing a left or right key. Attention was not explicitly drawn to the valence of the stimuli. No valence-by-side interaction emerged. In Exp. 2 and 3, right-handers and left-handers made a valence judgment by pressing a left or a right key. A valence-by-side interaction emerged: For positive words, responses were faster when participants responded with their dominant hand, whereas for negative words, responses were faster for the non-dominant hand. Exp. 4 required a valence judgment without stating an explicit mapping of valence and side. No valence-by-side interaction emerged. The experiments provide evidence for an association between response side and valence, which, however, does not seem to be activated automatically but rather requires a task with an explicit response mapping to occur.

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