Giulia Baroni, Roberto Bolzani, Giuseppe Di Pellegrino, Giovanna Moretto, Roberto Nicoletti

The spatial representation of words with economic meaning

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Gain and loss words, numerical magnitude, SNARC effect, mental number line, spatial compatibility effects.

The present study aims to investigate whether words with economic meaning related to loss (e.g., unemployment) and gain (e.g., salary) are represented along a spatial dimension, in line with the evidence provided by the SNARC effect literature. Results indicate that participants have a better performance when responding with the left key to loss-words and with the right key to gain-words, respectively. This effect has been found, though, only when the loss/gain discrimination was salient for the task that participants were to perform. Taken together, these data support the idea that loss/ gain concepts are associated to small/large numerical magnitudes, as it is for numbers, and placed along the left/right side of a mental number line.

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