The issue of how abstract concepts are represented is widely debated. However, evidence is controversial, also because different criteria were used to select abstract concepts - for example, imageability and abstractness were equated. In addition, for many years abstract concepts have been considered as a unitary whole. Our work aims to address these two limitations. We asked participants to evaluate 425 abstract concepts on 15 dimensions: abstractness, concreteness, imageability, context availability, Body-Object-Interaction, Modality of Acquisition, Age of Acquisition, Perceptual modality strength, Metacognition, Social metacognition, Interoception, Emotionality, Social valence, Hand and Mouth activation. Results showed that conceiving concepts only in terms of concreteness/abstractness is too simplified. More abstract concepts are typically acquired later and through the linguistic modality and are characterized by high scores in social metacognition (feeling that others can help us in understanding word meaning), while concrete concepts obtain high scores in Body-Object-Interaction, imageability, and context availability. A cluster analysis indicated four kinds of abstract concepts: philosophical-spiritual (e.g., value), self-sociality (e.g., politeness), emotive/inner states (e.g., anger), and physical, spatio-temporal, and quantitative concepts (e.g., reflex). Overall, results support multiple representation views indicating that sensorimotor, inner, linguistic, and social experience have different weights in characterizing different kinds of abstract concepts.

Varieties of abstract concepts and their multiple dimensions / Villani, C.; Lugli, L.; Liuzza, M. T.; Borghi, A.. - In: LANGUAGE AND COGNITION. - ISSN 1866-9808. - 11:3(2019), pp. 403-430. [10.1017/langcog.2019.23]

Varieties of abstract concepts and their multiple dimensions

Borghi A.
2019

Abstract

The issue of how abstract concepts are represented is widely debated. However, evidence is controversial, also because different criteria were used to select abstract concepts - for example, imageability and abstractness were equated. In addition, for many years abstract concepts have been considered as a unitary whole. Our work aims to address these two limitations. We asked participants to evaluate 425 abstract concepts on 15 dimensions: abstractness, concreteness, imageability, context availability, Body-Object-Interaction, Modality of Acquisition, Age of Acquisition, Perceptual modality strength, Metacognition, Social metacognition, Interoception, Emotionality, Social valence, Hand and Mouth activation. Results showed that conceiving concepts only in terms of concreteness/abstractness is too simplified. More abstract concepts are typically acquired later and through the linguistic modality and are characterized by high scores in social metacognition (feeling that others can help us in understanding word meaning), while concrete concepts obtain high scores in Body-Object-Interaction, imageability, and context availability. A cluster analysis indicated four kinds of abstract concepts: philosophical-spiritual (e.g., value), self-sociality (e.g., politeness), emotive/inner states (e.g., anger), and physical, spatio-temporal, and quantitative concepts (e.g., reflex). Overall, results support multiple representation views indicating that sensorimotor, inner, linguistic, and social experience have different weights in characterizing different kinds of abstract concepts.
2019
Abstract concepts; embodied cognition; language; multiple representation views; social metacognition; sociality
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Varieties of abstract concepts and their multiple dimensions / Villani, C.; Lugli, L.; Liuzza, M. T.; Borghi, A.. - In: LANGUAGE AND COGNITION. - ISSN 1866-9808. - 11:3(2019), pp. 403-430. [10.1017/langcog.2019.23]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1362801
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