Writing direction has surprising effects on social cognition. These effects are addressed with a specific focus on languages written from left-to-right vs. right-to-left. The trajectory, in which a language is written, produces subtle spatial-cognitive biases, affecting the way in which social targets are imagined, represented, recognized, and classified. Specifically, according to the Spatial Agency Bias (SAB) model, social targets are envisaged in space so that agentic targets (e.g., males) are represented in line with the trajectory of written language (e.g., showing the rightward profile in languages written rightwards). From an embodied-cognition perspective, this effect is interpreted as the result of a simulation of the writing/reading activity while mentally representing an agentic target. SAB pervades different stages of information processing, including on-line and off-line cognition, encoding and decoding processes, and is part of a self-perpetuating cycle in which stereotypic beliefs affect spatial bias which in turn shapes subsequent beliefs.

Writing Direction, Agency and Gender Stereotyping: An Embodied Connection

SUITNER, CATERINA;MAASS, ANNE
2011

Abstract

Writing direction has surprising effects on social cognition. These effects are addressed with a specific focus on languages written from left-to-right vs. right-to-left. The trajectory, in which a language is written, produces subtle spatial-cognitive biases, affecting the way in which social targets are imagined, represented, recognized, and classified. Specifically, according to the Spatial Agency Bias (SAB) model, social targets are envisaged in space so that agentic targets (e.g., males) are represented in line with the trajectory of written language (e.g., showing the rightward profile in languages written rightwards). From an embodied-cognition perspective, this effect is interpreted as the result of a simulation of the writing/reading activity while mentally representing an agentic target. SAB pervades different stages of information processing, including on-line and off-line cognition, encoding and decoding processes, and is part of a self-perpetuating cycle in which stereotypic beliefs affect spatial bias which in turn shapes subsequent beliefs.
Spatial Dimensions of Social Thought
9783110254303
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/165462
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