Predicting the good guy and the bad guy: Attitudes are encoded in language statistics

Gabriel Recchia, Slater A., M.M. Louwerse

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


    Various studies have provided evidence that people activate
    introspective simulations when making valence judgments.
    Such evidence is in line with an embodied cognition account
    that argues that cognition is fundamentally embodied, with
    perceptual simulation rather than language statistics being the
    source of lexical semantics. Recently, demonstrations that
    conceptual knowledge is encoded in language have been
    used to argue that semantic processing involves both
    language statistics and perceptual simulation, with linguistic
    cues allowing meaning to be bootstrapped with minimal
    symbol grounding. Whether language also encodes attitudes
    towards concepts is unclear. In three studies, negative-valence
    words were found to be more closely associated in language
    with individuals commonly considered villains, and positivevalence
    words with heroes (both fictional and historical).
    These results suggest that attitudes toward persons can be
    inferred from lexical associations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.
    PublisherAustin, TX: Cognitive Science Society
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventCogSci 2014 - Québec City, Canada
    Duration: 23 Jul 201426 Jul 2014


    ConferenceCogSci 2014
    CityQuébec City


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