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    Spatial representation of coherence

    von Hecker, U. and Hahn, Ulrike and Rollings, J. (2016) Spatial representation of coherence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 145 (7), pp. 853-871. ISSN 0096-3445.

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    Four experiments examined spatial correlates of the experience of coherence, that is, the extent to which propositions ‘fit together’. Experiment 1 demonstrates for Heiderian triads (i.e., sets of liking/disliking relations between three fictitious persons) that name pairs from balanced triads, such as two friends commonly disliking a third person (high coherence) are seen as closer to each other in physical space as compared to name pairs from unbalanced triads, such as two persons disliking each other and having a common friend (low coherence). This pattern of results is conceptually replicated in two further experiments for categorical syllogisms. Two terms in conclusions from valid syllogisms (high coherence) were seen as spatially closer to each other than when two terms came from invalid syllogisms (low coherence). In the final two experiments, similar closeness effects are demonstrated for word pairs from scenarios that “made sense” in terms of causal connectedness (latent causality) as opposed to word pairs from scenarios perceived as causally unconnected. These findings are discussed in the context of spatial binding theories, applied psychology, and embodied cognition in general, and their methodological implications are highlighted.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): coherence, syllogistic reasoning, causal binding, spatial processes
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Knowledge Lab
    Depositing User: Ulrike Hahn
    Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 13:39
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:23


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