September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Bow your head in shame, or, hold your head up with pride: Self-esteem concepts orient attention vertically
Author Affiliations
  • Alison Chasteen
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Eric Taylor
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Timothy Lam
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Jay Pratt
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 874. doi:10.1167/15.12.874
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      Alison Chasteen, Eric Taylor, Timothy Lam, Jay Pratt; Bow your head in shame, or, hold your head up with pride: Self-esteem concepts orient attention vertically. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):874. doi: 10.1167/15.12.874.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Embodied cognition holds that abstract concepts are grounded in perceptual-motor simulations. If a given embodied metaphor maps onto a spatial representation, then thinking of that concept should bias the allocation of attention. In this study, we tested whether self-esteem concepts, which are frequently discussed using vertical spatial metaphors, can cue attention. We also asked whether conceptual cueing requires semantic processing, or if it can be achieved with shallow visual processing of the cue words. Participants viewed centrally presented words consisting of high or low self-esteem traits (e.g. brave, timid) before detecting a target above or below the cue. Participants were faster to detect targets when their location was compatible with the self-esteem level of the word cues. This effect was observed when participants processed the semantics of the word, but not when processing its typography. This study is the first to directly manipulate the level of processing required to elicit conceptual cueing. The results show that self-esteem concepts orient attention vertically, suggesting they are grounded in a spatial metaphor, and that an explicit consideration of the word cues’ semantics is required for conceptual cueing to occur.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015

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