Emotion words and categories: evidence from lexical decision

Scott, G., O'Donnell, P. and Sereno, S. C. (2014) Emotion words and categories: evidence from lexical decision. Cognitive Processing, 15(2), pp. 209-215. (doi: 10.1007/s10339-013-0589-6)

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Abstract

We examined the categorical nature of emotion word recognition. Positive, negative, and neutral words were presented in lexical decision tasks. Word frequency was additionally manipulated. In Experiment 1, "positive" and "negative" categories of words were implicitly indicated by the blocked design employed. A significant emotion–frequency interaction was obtained, replicating past research. While positive words consistently elicited faster responses than neutral words, only low frequency negative words demonstrated a similar advantage. In Experiments 2a and 2b, explicit categories ("positive," "negative," and "household" items) were specified to participants. Positive words again elicited faster responses than did neutral words. Responses to negative words, however, were no different than those to neutral words, regardless of their frequency. The overall pattern of effects indicates that positive words are always facilitated, frequency plays a greater role in the recognition of negative words, and a "negative" category represents a somewhat disparate set of emotions. These results support the notion that emotion word processing may be moderated by distinct systems.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sereno, Dr Sara and O'Donnell, Professor Patrick and Scott, Mr Graham
Authors: Scott, G., O'Donnell, P., and Sereno, S. C.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > Q Science (General)
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Cognitive Processing
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1612-4782
ISSN (Online):1612-4790
Published Online:21 November 2013
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag
First Published:First published in Cognitive Processing 15(2): 209-215
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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