Emotion words and categories: evidence from lexical decision
- 1.1k Downloads
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.
KeywordsEmotion Word frequency Category Lexical decision Arousal Valence
- Balota DA, Yap MJ, Cortese MJ, Hutchison KA, Kessler B, Loftis B, Neely JH, Nelson DL, Simpson GB, Treiman R (2007) The English Lexicon Project. Behav Res Methods 39(3):445–459Google Scholar
- Bazzanella B, Bouquet P (2011) Associative and categorical priming in recognition of individuals. In: Carlson L, Hölscher C, Shipley TF (eds) Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society, Boston, MA, pp 525–530Google Scholar
- Bradley MM, Lang PJ (1999) Affective Norms for English Words (ANEW): Stimuli, instruction manual, and affective ratings. Technical Report C-1. The Center for Research in Psychophysiology, University of Florida, Gainsville, FLGoogle Scholar