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The polarity effect of evaluative language

Baumgartner, Lucien and Willemsen, Pascale and Reuter, Kevin (2022) The polarity effect of evaluative language. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Recent research on thick terms like 'rude' and 'friendly' has revealed a polarity effect, according to which the evaluative content of positive thick terms like 'friendly' and 'courageous' can be more easily cancelled than the evaluative content of negative terms like 'rude' and 'selfish'. In this paper, we study the polarity effect in greater detail. We first demonstrate that the polarity effect is insensitive to manipulations of embeddings (Study 1). Second, we show that the effect occurs not only for thick terms but also for thin terms such as 'good' or 'bad' (Study 2). We conclude that the polarity effect is indicative of a pervasive linguistic asymmetry that holds between positive and negative evaluative terms.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Baumgartner, Lucienlucien.baumgartner@philos.uzh.ch
Willemsen, PascalePascale.Willemsen@philos.uzh.ch
Reuter, Kevinkevin.reuter@uzh.ch
Keywords: polarity effect; thick terms; thin terms; evaluative language; moral judgments; praise; blame
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Dr. Kevin Reuter
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2022 05:16
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2022 05:16
Item ID: 20146
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Date: 24 January 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20146

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