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Acquisition of abstract concepts is influenced by emotional valence.

Ponari, M; Norbury, CF; Vigliocco, G; (2017) Acquisition of abstract concepts is influenced by emotional valence. Developmental Science 10.1111/desc.12549. (In press). Green open access

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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.

Type: Article
Title: Acquisition of abstract concepts is influenced by emotional valence.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/desc.12549
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/desc.12549
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1546272
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