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Acquisition of abstract concepts is influenced by emotional valence

Ponari, Marta, Norbury, Courtenay Frazier, Vigliocco, Gabriella (2017) Acquisition of abstract concepts is influenced by emotional valence. Developmental Science, 21 (2). ISSN 1363-755X. E-ISSN 1467-7687. (doi:10.1111/desc.12549)

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Abstract

There is considerable lack of evidence concerning the linguistic and cognitive skills underpinning abstract vocabulary acquisition. The present study considers the role of emotional valence in providing an embodied learning experience in which to anchor abstract meanings. First, analyses of adult ratings of age-of-acquisition, concreteness and valence demonstrate that abstract words acquired early tend to be emotionally valenced. Second, auditory Lexical Decision accuracies of children aged 6-7, 8-9, and 10-11 years (n = 20 per group) complement these analyses, demonstrating that emotional valence facilitates processing of abstract words, but not concrete. These findings provide the first evidence that young, school-aged children are sensitive to emotional valence and that this facilitates acquisition of abstract words.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/desc.12549
Uncontrolled keywords: abstract words vocabulary acquisition children emotional valence
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Depositing User: Marta Ponari
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2016 13:21 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 14:46 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/59657 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Ponari, Marta: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7658-8360
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