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The polarity effect of evaluative language


Baumgartner, Lucien; Willemsen, Pascale; Reuter, Kevin (2022). The polarity effect of evaluative language. Philosophical Psychology:Epub ahead of print.

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 canceled 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 indicates a pervasive asymmetry between positive and negative evaluative terms.

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 canceled 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 indicates a pervasive asymmetry between positive and negative evaluative terms.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
08 Research Priority Programs > Digital Society Initiative
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Applied Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Language:English
Date:27 September 2022
Deposited On:19 Oct 2022 12:04
Last Modified:29 Jan 2024 02:45
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0951-5089
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2022.2123311
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)