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ERIC Number: EJ1172105
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1467-7687
Acquisition of Abstract Concepts Is Influenced by Emotional Valence
Ponari, Marta; Norbury, Courtenay Frazier; Vigliocco, Gabriella
Developmental Science, v21 n2 Mar 2018
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. In this study we report converging evidence from both analyses of age-of-acquisition ratings and children's performance on an auditory lexical decision task, showing that emotion (especially positive) plays a role in learning early abstract words, particularly at around the age of 8-9.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A