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J Exp Psychol Gen. 2013 Feb;142(1):282-7. doi: 10.1037/a0027004.

Dual coding theory, word abstractness, and emotion: a critical review of Kousta et al. (2011).

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Department of Psychology, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5C2.


Kousta, Vigliocco, Del Campo, Vinson, and Andrews (2011) questioned the adequacy of dual coding theory and the context availability model as explanations of representational and processing differences between concrete and abstract words. They proposed an alternative approach that focuses on the role of emotional content in the processing of abstract concepts. Their dual coding critique is, however, based on impoverished and, in some respects, incorrect interpretations of the theory and its implications. This response corrects those gaps and misinterpretations and summarizes research findings that show predicted variations in the effects of dual coding variables in different tasks and contexts. Especially emphasized is an empirically supported dual coding theory of emotion that goes beyond the Kousta et al. emphasis on emotion in abstract semantics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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