Weight as an embodiment of importance

N.B. Jostmann, D. Lakens, T.W. Schubert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

221 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Four studies show that the abstract concept of importance is grounded in bodily experiences of weight. Participants provided judgments of importance while they held either a heavy or a light clipboard. Holding a heavy clipboard increased judgments of monetary value (Study 1) and made participants consider fair decision-making procedures to be more important (Study 2). It also caused more elaborate thinking, as indicated by higher consistency between related judgments (Study 3) and by greater polarization of agreement ratings for strong versus weak arguments (Study 4). In line with an embodied perspective on cognition, these findings suggest that, much as weight makes people invest more physical effort in dealing with concrete objects, it also makes people invest more cognitive effort in dealing with abstract issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1169-1174
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Science
Volume20
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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