Interaction between Sign and Parity During Processing of Single-Digit Numbers
Keywords:numbers, parity, comprehension of abstract concepts, grounded cognition
AbstractComprehension of abstract concepts presents an important challenge for a theoretical framework of grounded cognition. One possibility is that abstract concepts are grounded in affective states. In this work, we examined the hypothesis that abstract mathematical concept of parity (even-odd) is associated with positive and negative hedonic tone. In the first experiment, participants performed parity judgment task. Stimuli were whole numbers in the range between -9 to 9 excluding -5, 0 and 5. Results showed two-way interaction between sign and parity because participants were more efficient with positive than negative even numbers. They were also more efficient with negative than positive odd numbers. In the second experiment, participants were asked to judge whether the presented number is numerically greater or smaller than 5 while they should ignore the sign. The stimuli were the same as in the first experiment. Results showed more complex three-way interaction where participants were more efficient with positive than negative even numbers, as in the first experiment, but this result was restricted to numbers greater than 5. Results are discussed in the context of the theory of polarity correspondence and the theory of affective grounding.