S. van Dantzig
- Mighty metaphors: behavioral and ERP evidence that power shifts attention on a vertical dimension
- Brain and Cognition
- Volume | Issue number
- 78 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Thinking about the abstract concept power may automatically activate the spatial up-down image schema (powerful up; powerless down) and consequently direct spatial attention to the image schema-congruent location. Participants indicated whether a word represented a powerful or powerless person (e.g. ‘king’ or ‘servant’). Following each decision, they identified a target at the top or bottom of the visual field. In Experiment 1 participants identified the target faster when their spatial position was congruent with the perceived power of the preceding word than when it was incongruent. In Experiment 2 ERPs showed a higher N1 amplitude for congruent spatial positions. These results support the view that attention is driven to the image schema congruent location of a power word. Thus, power is partially understood in terms of vertical space, which demonstrates that abstract concepts are grounded in sensory-motor processing.
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