SEMANTIC STRUCTURE CAUSES STIMULUS-VALENCE DEPENDENT PRESENTATION-ORDER EFFECTS IN PREFERENCE COMPARISONS

  • Mats P. Englund
  • Ake Hellström

Abstract

Englund and Hellström (in press) found valence-level dependent word-order effects (WOEs) for preference judgment – a tendency to prefer the left/right (first/second read) out of two attractive/unattractive alternatives. Participants indicated preference by choosing one of several preference expressions (e.g., “apple I like more than pearâ€). Englund, Hellström, and Calderon (2009) found a similar effect for vertically spaced stimuli and semantic response alternatives, but an unexpected U-shaped valence-dependent WOE for horizontally spaced stimuli and semantics-free response alternatives. Here, we present two experiments improved methodologically compared to Englund et al.’s: Single nouns denoted each stimulus, and the within-pair presentation order was randomized for each stimulus (instead of randomizing participants to one stimulus order; always A-B or always B-A). Results showed valence-level dependent WOEs for vertically spaced stimuli and semantic response alternatives but not for horizontally spaced stimuli and semantics-free response alternatives. These results indicate the importance of the preference statements’ semantic structure for the valence-level dependent WOE.

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