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Accessing the asymmetrical representations of causal relations and hierarchical relations in semantic memory

Chen, Q and Roberson, D and Liang, X and Lei, Y and Li, H (2014) 'Accessing the asymmetrical representations of causal relations and hierarchical relations in semantic memory.' Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 26 (5). pp. 559-570. ISSN 2044-5911

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Abstract

Recent studies of causal relations have reported faster verification if two words appear in ?cause?effect? order than if they appear in ?effect?cause? order. The current study investigated whether such differences are specific to causal relations or exist for other types of asymmetric relations, such as hierarchical relations. Participants were asked to decide whether two simultaneously presented words were causally related or hierarchically related, when the word pair was vertically aligned (Experiment 1) or horizontally aligned (Experiment 2). Both causal and hierarchical relationships were verified faster if ?cause?/?superordinate-level? appeared vertically above ?effect?/?subordinate-level? than the reverse. However, if word pairs were presented horizontally, only causal relationships were verified faster when cause preceded effect. People appear to represent the causal asymmetry based on temporal order when queried about causal relationships, whereas the representation of hierarchical asymmetry is based on spatial arrangement when queried about hierarchical relationships.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Asymmetry; Causal relations; Hierarchical relations; Spatial representation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2015 14:38
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 01:04
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/12613

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