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The Language of Magnitude Comparison

Matthews, William J and Dylman, Alexandra S (2014) 'The Language of Magnitude Comparison.' Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143. pp. 510-520. ISSN 0096-3445

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Abstract

When 2 objects differ in magnitude, their relation can be described with a “smaller” comparative (e.g., less, shorter, lower) or a “larger” comparative (e.g., more, taller, higher). We show that, across multiple dimensions and tasks, English speakers preferentially use the latter. In sentence completion tasks, this higher use of larger comparatives (HULC) effect is more pronounced when the larger item is presented on the left (for simultaneous presentation) or second (for sequential presentation). The HULC effect is not diminished by making the 2 items more similar, but it is somewhat lessened when both objects are of low magnitude. These results illuminate the processes underlying the judgment and representation of relative magnitudes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: comparative judgment, language, magnitude comparison
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Users 161 not found.
Date Deposited: 01 May 2014 09:16
Last Modified: 01 May 2014 09:16
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/9305

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