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The Effect of Physical Weight and Stimulus Spatial Location on Lexical Decision: Implications for Embodied Cognition

Priest, Lee David (2014) The Effect of Physical Weight and Stimulus Spatial Location on Lexical Decision: Implications for Embodied Cognition. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Traditional models of cognition within cognitive psychology have utilised dualistic perspectives and
largely ignored the roles of the motor systems and bodily experiences. More recent embodied approaches have sought to combat this dualism by incorporating the motor systems and bodily experiences into their perspectives. Recent research has highlighted the role of bodily experiences in shaping cognition (Proffitt, 2006; Jostmann et al., 2009), how language comprehension can be embodied and grounded in physical experiences (Glenberg and Kaschak, 2002; Zwaan and Yaxley, 2003) and also how stimulus spatial location can influence responses (Meteyard et al.,
2008; Dunn et al., 2014). The present study aimed to explore those areas and provide empirical evidence in support as well as explore a gap in current research. The literature search indicated an abundance of embodied system research but a lack of research looking at possible interactions between the systems, it was this gap that was explored within the present study. Utilising a lexical decision task and methods similar to that of Proffitt (2006) three experiments were conducted. A total of 64 participants underwent standard and spatial lexical decision tasks. Three experiments were conducted exploring the bodily effect of weight, stimulus spatial effect and interactions between embodied systems.Results from the three experiments displayed a lack of support for
past research regarding the effect of the bodily experience of weight. Results also displayed a
main effect of word type leading to the indication that the comprehension of the word/non-word letter strings affected task performance. Analysis of results proposed that a cohesion effect between embodied systems facilitated task performance. It was concluded that further research is needed in order to fully understand the possibility of dominance or cohesion effects within an embodied perspective.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Elizabeth Boulton
Date Deposited: 28 May 2015 13:49
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2015 05:16


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