In this chapter, we argue that the way we read and write exerts a pervasive, subtle, and generally unacknowledged influence on social cognition. We propose a theoretical model, the Spatial Agency Bias (SAB), according to which human agency is envisaged following the script direction that is prevalent in a given cultural context (for instance, left to right in English and right to left in Arabic or Hebrew). This bias is the joint function of two interrelated asymmetries, one deriving from script direction, the other from subject-object order. We report findings supporting the basic premises of the model and then discuss its pervasive role in intergroup relations and its practical applications in the areas of Website construction, advertisement, and, most importantly, stereotype change. We also address boundary conditions and moderators, with particular attention to construal level. We conclude the chapter with a discussion of the SAB within the larger embodied cognition approach. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Spatial Agency Bias: Representing People in Space

SUITNER, CATERINA;MAASS, ANNE
2016

Abstract

In this chapter, we argue that the way we read and write exerts a pervasive, subtle, and generally unacknowledged influence on social cognition. We propose a theoretical model, the Spatial Agency Bias (SAB), according to which human agency is envisaged following the script direction that is prevalent in a given cultural context (for instance, left to right in English and right to left in Arabic or Hebrew). This bias is the joint function of two interrelated asymmetries, one deriving from script direction, the other from subject-object order. We report findings supporting the basic premises of the model and then discuss its pervasive role in intergroup relations and its practical applications in the areas of Website construction, advertisement, and, most importantly, stereotype change. We also address boundary conditions and moderators, with particular attention to construal level. We conclude the chapter with a discussion of the SAB within the larger embodied cognition approach. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3198860
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