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Contributions of population stereotypes and mental simulations to sentence comprehension

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dc.contributor.author Teskey, Morgan
dc.date.accessioned 2017-08-21T17:37:52Z
dc.date.available 2017-08-21T17:37:52Z
dc.date.copyright 2017 en_US
dc.date.issued 2017-08-21
dc.identifier.uri https://dspace.library.uvic.ca//handle/1828/8435
dc.description.abstract Embodied accounts of action-language processing propose that meaning is constructed with the assistance of relevant sensory-motor representations (eg., Fischer & Zwaan, 2008). In support of this view, comprehending an action-sentence can slow the production of an overt action, when features of that action are incompatible with corresponding sentence features (Glenberg & Kaschak, 2002). Additionally, performing an overt action can impede the comprehension of incompatible action-sentences (Zwaan & Taylor, 2006). Action-sentence comprehension can even be disrupted by watching visual displays with incompatible directional features. Namely, comprehending a sentence describing a movement in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction is less efficient when simultaneously viewing a stimulus moving in an incompatible direction, even when no overt manual rotation action is performed. Embodied accounts contend that such action-sentence compatibility effects arise as a result of covert simulations of specific motor programs developed through one’s physical experiences with particular objects. I present evidence that these effects could also be generated by a more abstract type of knowledge, that is not tied to a particular object. I am referring here to the idea of a population stereotype, which is the natural tendency of people to associate the direction of certain actions with the conceptual properties of a physical display (e.g., a clockwise device rotation implies an increase in device output). Such population stereotypes typically are consistent with specific motor experiences. For example, turning down the volume of a stereo in many cases involves a counterclockwise rotation of a dial, and this experience is consistent with a population stereotype that implies that reducing a quantity is achieved by a counterclockwise action. If comprehension of a sentence describing reducing the volume on a stereo is faster while turning a dial in a counterclockwise direction, it can not be determined if a resulting compatibility effect reflects compatibility between the described action and the stereotype, or between the described action and real motor experiences. I will present a case in which a population stereotype is not compatible with everyday experiences and establish that population stereotypes make a substantial contribution to action-sentence compatibility effects. I will also report a number of unsuccessful attempts to replicate previous studies of action-sentence compatibility and discuss replication attempts made by others. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject Embodied Cognition en_US
dc.subject Sentence Comprehension en_US
dc.subject Population Stereotypes en_US
dc.title Contributions of population stereotypes and mental simulations to sentence comprehension en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Bub, Daniel
dc.contributor.supervisor Masson, Michael E. J.
dc.degree.department Department of Psychology en_US
dc.degree.level Master of Science M.Sc. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US


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