Everyday actions such as writing have been proven to produce consistent mental schemata, which are used to represent social interactions. The preference for depicting the agent of an action to the left of the recipient is known as the spatial agency bias (SAB) and has been related to writing direction. The question which we addressed through two studies is whether the mental construal level (CL) affects this embodied bias. We hypothesized that high-CL (vs. low-CL) priming increases the SAB, as it promotes the use of an abstract mental schema to represent the situation. We found that, when asked to depict two interacting targets, participants in a high-CL condition were more likely to adopt a left-to-right representation (Studies 1 and 2). In contrast, under low-CL, participants were more likely to follow the trajectory suggested by contextual details (Study 2). These findings shed light on boundary conditions for the SAB.

Seeing the forest from left to right: How Construal Level affects the Spatial Agency Bias

SUITNER, CATERINA;
2012

Abstract

Everyday actions such as writing have been proven to produce consistent mental schemata, which are used to represent social interactions. The preference for depicting the agent of an action to the left of the recipient is known as the spatial agency bias (SAB) and has been related to writing direction. The question which we addressed through two studies is whether the mental construal level (CL) affects this embodied bias. We hypothesized that high-CL (vs. low-CL) priming increases the SAB, as it promotes the use of an abstract mental schema to represent the situation. We found that, when asked to depict two interacting targets, participants in a high-CL condition were more likely to adopt a left-to-right representation (Studies 1 and 2). In contrast, under low-CL, participants were more likely to follow the trajectory suggested by contextual details (Study 2). These findings shed light on boundary conditions for the SAB.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

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: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2476174
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 14
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 11
social impact