One key issue for theories of cognition is how abstract concepts, such as freedom, are represented. According to the WAT (Words As social Tools) proposal, abstract concepts activatebothsensorimotorandlinguistic/socialinformation,andtheiracquisitionmodality involves the linguistic experience more than the acquisition of concrete concepts. We report an experiment in which participants were presented with abstract and concrete deﬁnitions followed by concrete and abstract target-words. When the deﬁnition and the word matched, participants were required to press a key, either with the hand or with the mouth. Response times and accuracy were recorded. As predicted, we found that abstract deﬁnitions and abstract words yielded slower responses and more errors compared to concrete deﬁnitions and concrete words. More crucially, there was an interaction between the target-words and the effector used to respond (hand, mouth). While responses with the mouth were overall slower, the advantage of the hand over the mouth responses was more marked with concrete than with abstract concepts. The results are in keeping with grounded and embodied theories of cognition and support the WAT proposal, according to which abstract concepts evoke linguistic-social information, hence activate the mouth. The mechanisms underlying the mouth activation with abstract concepts (re-enactment of acquisition experience, or re-explanation of the word meaning, possibly through inner talk) are discussed. To our knowledge this is the ﬁrst behavioral study demonstrating with real words that the advantage of the hand over the mouth is more marked with concrete than with abstract concepts, likely because of the activation of linguistic information with abstract concepts.
Grounding abstractness: Abstract concepts and the activation of the mouth / Borghi, ANNA MARIA; Zarcone, Edoardo. - In: FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 1664-1078. - ELETTRONICO. - 7(2016). [10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01498]
|Titolo:||Grounding abstractness: Abstract concepts and the activation of the mouth|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Citazione:||Grounding abstractness: Abstract concepts and the activation of the mouth / Borghi, ANNA MARIA; Zarcone, Edoardo. - In: FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 1664-1078. - ELETTRONICO. - 7(2016). [10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01498]|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|