SNARC EFFECTS FOR POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE NUMBERS REPRESENTING TEMPERATURE

  • Joel Lucas
  • William M. Petrusic

Abstract

Previous experiments suggest that the direction of SNARC is fixed for numbers based onoverlearned reading and writing habits. Our experiments show that in the context oftemperature, the direction of SNARC is dependent on instruction such that fasterresponses were always associated with the most extreme temperature. In our threeexperiments, participants were required to pick the warmer or colder digit from pairsrepresenting relatively high or low temperatures. Presentation of pairs and responseswere horizontal in Experiment 1 but vertical in Experiments 2, and 3. An instructiondependentSNARC effect occurred such that responses to the “ coldest†and “warmestâ€pairs were always fastest to the right, in the horizontal experiment, and fastest in anupward direction in the vertical experiments. These experiments suggest that the mentalnumber line does extend past zero for negative numbers and the orientation of the line isreversible based on instruction.
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