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Title:Studies of embodied cognition and metaphor
Author(s):Yoon, Gunwoo
Director of Research:Vargas, Patrick T.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Vargas, Patrick T.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Nelson, Michelle R.; Wise, Kevin R; White, Tiffany B.
Department / Program:Inst of Communications Rsch
Discipline:Communications and Media
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Embodied cognition
Abstract:Our bodily experiences can exert an influence on determining how we think, feel, and behave. This is because incidental bodily experiences affect how we understand and process abstract social concepts via the use of metaphors. According to this embodied perspective, bodily states or actions can cue metaphorically related social concepts and, in turn, influence our judgments in ways consistent with such physically experienced concepts. Drawing upon research on embodied cognition, in this dissertation I examine whether the way a choice is physically experienced can systemically influence how people respond to choice options. I manipulate bodily experiences at the point of choice by asking people to either draw positively connoted check-marks, or negatively connoted X-marks when making choices. Across five experiments, I find that different physical acts of choice can convey meanings of metaphorically associated concepts, leading people to make judgments consistent with such bodily experienced concepts. Specifically, compared to negatively connoted X-marking behaviors, performing positively connoted check-marking actions leads people to evaluate both novel and familiar targets as more pleasant (studies 1 and 4), to agree more with statements about controversial social issues (studies 2 and 3), and to choose more target items (study 5). Overall, in this dissertation I confirm the metaphorically related physical and conceptual link and highlight the role of body-based metaphors in the processing of information. The way people physically respond to questions at the point of choice indeed affects their judgments and decisions. Theoretical and practical contributions and implications of these findings are discussed for further investigation.
Issue Date:2015-04-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Gunwoo Yoon
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-22
Date Deposited:May 2015

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