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A robust anchoring effect in linear ordering

von Hecker, Ulrich ORCID:, Klauer, Karl Christoph and Asfalg, Andre 2019. A robust anchoring effect in linear ordering. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 72 (11) , pp. 2680-2689. 10.1177/1747021819855234

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The robustness of effects indicating a spatial component associated with abstract reasoning is tested. Judgements regarding hierarchical orderings tend to be faster and more accurate when the dominant element in any pair from the order (e.g., the older, richer) is presented on the left of the screen as compared with the right (left-anchoring effect). This signature effect is investigated in three conditions (Experiment 1), each implementing a different timing regime for the elements in each pair, during learning. Thereby, the construction of a mental representation of the ordering was exposed to a potentially competing spatial simulation, that is, the well-known "mental timeline" with orientation from left (present) to right (future). First, the left-anchoring effect for order representations remained significant when timeline information was congruent with the presumed left-anchoring process, that is, the dominant element in a pair was always presented first. Second, the same effect remained also significant when the timeline-related information was random, that is, the dominant element being presented either first or second. Third, the same effect was found to be still significant, when the timeline-related information was contrary to the left-anchoring process, that is, the dominant element being presented always second. Experiment 2 replicates the target effect under random timeline information, controlling for colour as a stimulus feature. The results are discussed in the context of a theoretical model that integrates basic assumptions about acquired reading/writing habits as a scaffold for spatial simulation and primacy/dominance representation within such spatial simulations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1747-0218
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 May 2019
Date of Acceptance: 11 May 2019
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 20:18

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