Title: Differences in the affective processing of words and pictures
Authors: De Houwer, Jan ×
Hermans, Dirk #
Issue Date: 1994
Publisher: Psychology press
Series Title: Cognition & Emotion vol:8 issue:1 pages:1-20
Abstract: It is often assumed that affective information is represented within a semantic network. This hypothesis is more closely examined here, using a picture-word variant of the Stroop task. The studies are inspired by a recent theory of W.R. Glaser and M.O. Glaser (1989), who proposed a distinction between a semantic system, to which pictures have privileged access, and a lexical system with privileged access for words. If affective information is stored in the semantic system, differences in the affective processing of words and pictures can be expected. In Experiment 1, subjects had to name the affective value of the picture (or the word) of a picture-word stimulus. It was found that affect-incongruent distractors influenced the affective categorisation of words, but not of pictures. Also, the evaluation of pictures was much faster than the evaluation of words. Finally, the results showed that negative targets were categorised more quickly than positive ones, regardless of the type of target. In Experiment 2, subjects had to name the picture or to read the word. Negative pictures were named faster than positive ones, but affect did not influence word reading. All results support the hypothesis that pictures have privileged access to a semantic network containing affective information.
ISSN: 0269-9931
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Centre for Psychology of Learning and Experimental Psychopathology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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