Picture this! The effects of positivity bias, situation saliency, and verbal politeness in valence framing research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This study tests the link between frame processing and production by having the same participants (N ¼ 50) perform a priming and a production task. During the priming task, they responded to positive (‘winning’) and negative (‘losing’) picture descriptions. The results show a positivity bias: participants were generally faster to react to positive descriptions than to negative ones. The results of the production task, in which participants provided picture descriptions under different politeness instructions (neutral, polite, impolite), show a large effect of verbal politeness, with participants choosing positive frames to be polite and negative frames to be impolite. Additionally, the set-up made it possible to directly assess the link between processing and production: we tested whether
participants' frame choice was directly influenced by the frame that they found easiest to process in that situation (as an indication of frame saliency), as evidenced by faster reaction time for that frame in the priming task. Our results suggest that there might indeed be such a link between frame processing and production, but that this link is overshadowed by the large effect of politeness. Overall, these results show the importance of including contextual factors such as verbal politeness in the study of frame production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-124
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume198
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Keywords

  • Lexical priming
  • Positivity bias
  • Saliency
  • Valence framing
  • Verbal politeness

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