The Spatial–Numerical Association of Response Codes (SNARC), namely the automatic association between smaller numbers and left space and between larger numbers and right space, is often attributed to a Mental Number Line (MNL), in which magnitudes would be placed left-to-right. Previous studies have suggested that the MNL could be extended to emotional processing. In this study, participants were asked to carry out a parity judgment task (categorizing one to five digits as even or odd) and an emotional judgment task, in which emotional smilies were presented with four emotional expressions (very sad, sad, happy, very happy). Half of the sample was asked to categorize the emotional valence (positive or negative valence), the other half was asked to categorize the emotional intensity (lower or higher intensity). The results of the parity judgment task confirmed the expected SNARC e_ect. In the emotional judgment task, the performance of both subgroups was better for happy than for sad expressions. Importantly, a better performance was found only in the valence task for lower intensity stimuli categorized with the left hand and for higher intensity stimuli categorized with the right hand, but only for happy smilies. The present results show that neither emotional valence nor emotional intensity alone are spatialized left-to-right, suggesting that magnitudes and emotions are processed independently from one another, and that the mental representation of emotions could be more complex than the bi-dimentional left-to-right spatialization found for numbers.

Spatializing emotions besides magnitudes: Is there a left-to-right valence or intensity mapping?

Giulia Prete
Primo
2020

Abstract

The Spatial–Numerical Association of Response Codes (SNARC), namely the automatic association between smaller numbers and left space and between larger numbers and right space, is often attributed to a Mental Number Line (MNL), in which magnitudes would be placed left-to-right. Previous studies have suggested that the MNL could be extended to emotional processing. In this study, participants were asked to carry out a parity judgment task (categorizing one to five digits as even or odd) and an emotional judgment task, in which emotional smilies were presented with four emotional expressions (very sad, sad, happy, very happy). Half of the sample was asked to categorize the emotional valence (positive or negative valence), the other half was asked to categorize the emotional intensity (lower or higher intensity). The results of the parity judgment task confirmed the expected SNARC e_ect. In the emotional judgment task, the performance of both subgroups was better for happy than for sad expressions. Importantly, a better performance was found only in the valence task for lower intensity stimuli categorized with the left hand and for higher intensity stimuli categorized with the right hand, but only for happy smilies. The present results show that neither emotional valence nor emotional intensity alone are spatialized left-to-right, suggesting that magnitudes and emotions are processed independently from one another, and that the mental representation of emotions could be more complex than the bi-dimentional left-to-right spatialization found for numbers.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
36 Symmetry 2020 Spatializing Emotions Besides Magnitudes_Is There a Left-to-Right Valence or Intensity Mapping__Prete.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Articolo principale pubblicato online
Tipologia: PDF editoriale
Dimensione 1.27 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.27 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/722899
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 2
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
social impact