Attribution of feature magnitudes is influenced by trained reading-writing direction

Hecker, Ulrich von ; Arjmandi Lari, Zahra ; Fazilat-Pour, Masoud ; Krumpholtz, Lea

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-603698
Document Type: Article
Year of publication Online: 2021
The title of a journal, publication series: Journal of Cognitive Psychology
Volume: tba
Issue number: tba
Page range: 1-15
Place of publication: Abingdon
Publishing house: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN: 2044-5911 , 2044-592X
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Kognitive Psychologie (Seniorprofessur) (Erdfelder 2019-)
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Subject: 150 Psychology
Keywords (English): spatial processing , choice behaviour , consumer behaviour , presentation order , product advertising
Abstract: Spatial configurations amongst stimuli can influence magnitude attributions. Someone's acquired reading and writing direction (RWD) can provide a spatial schema of primacy extending from left (maximum) to right (minimum) for Westerners and opposite for leftward RWD languages. Primacy information can be transformed into a magnitude attribution regarding a feature quality, perceiving an object as having “more” of a certain quality for Westerners when positioned left amongst two similar objects, likewise when positioned right for people with a right-to-left RWD. Results showed that native English speakers tended to attribute greater magnitude of a given feature in fictitious products displayed left within a pair, indicating which of two products was “most” representative of a certain quality (Experiment 1a) but they would randomly choose when asked which product represented “least” of the quality (Experiment 1b). A similar, but reversed pattern of effects was obtained for Farsi participants only familiar with Farsi (Experiment 2).
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