GOODNESS-LEVEL DEPENDENT WORD-ORDER EFFECT IN PREFERENCE COMPARISON: SEMANTICS IS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR

  • Mats P. Englund
  • Ã…ke Hellström
  • Vladimir Calderon

Abstract


Hellström (2003) and Englund (2008) found a goodness-level dependent word-order effect (WOE) for preference judgment–a tendency to prefer the left (first read) of two good alternatives and the right (second) of two bad ones. Stimuli were spaced horizontally, and participants indicated preference by choosing one of several written statements (e.g., “apple I like more than pearâ€). The results were described as being due to a higher weight for the left/first stimulus than for the right/second. In the present study, Experiment 1 was similar to the previous studies, except that the stimuli were spaced vertically. In Experiment 2, stimuli were spaced horizontally, but preference was indicated by symbols instead of statements. The results of Experiment 1 essentially replicated the earlier findings, with a higher weight for the upper (first read) stimulus, but those of Experiment 2 did not. These results suggest that the semantic structure of the preference statements is an important factor behind the goodness- level dependent WOE.
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