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Conscious Cogn. 2015 Jul;34:33-42. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2015.02.018. Epub 2015 Mar 31.

The influence of vertical motor responses on explicit and incidental processing of power words.

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Department of Psychology, Fudan University, Handan Road 220, Shanghai SH 200433, China.
School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, North Zhongshan Road 3663, Shanghai SH 200062, China.
Department of Psychology, Fudan University, Handan Road 220, Shanghai SH 200433, China. Electronic address:


There is increasing evidence demonstrating that power judgment is affected by vertical information. Such interaction between vertical space and power (i.e., response facilitation under space-power congruent conditions) is generally elicited in paradigms that require participants to explicitly evaluate the power of the presented words. The current research explored the possibility that explicit evaluative processing is not a prerequisite for the emergence of this effect. Here we compared the influence of vertical information on a standard explicit power evaluation task with influence on a task that linked power with stimuli in a more incidental manner, requiring participants to report whether the words represented people or animals or the font of the words. The results revealed that although the effect is more modest, the interaction between responses and power is also evident in an incidental task. Furthermore, we also found that explicit semantic processing is a prerequisite to ensure such an effect.


Explicit; Explicit semantic processing; Incidental; Power word; Vertical motor response

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