Advertisement

Evidence of SQUARC and distance effects in a weight comparison task

  • Mario Dalmaso
  • Michele VicovaroEmail author
Research Article
  • 17 Downloads

Abstract

Stimuli associated with large quantities are typically responded to faster with a right- than a left-side key, whereas stimuli associated with small quantities are typically responded to faster with a left- than a right-side key. This phenomenon is known as the spatial-quantity association of response codes (SQUARC) effect. Here, in two experiments, we explored whether a SQUARC effect can emerge for light versus heavy items. Participants judged whether the weight associated with a central target word, describing an animal (e.g. ‘cow’; Experiment 1) or a material (e.g. ‘iron’; Experiment 2), was lighter or heavier than the weight associated with a reference word. Responses were provided with a left- and a right-side button. Then, participants estimated the weight associated with target and reference words. In both experiments, evidence for a SQUARC effect emerged. Moreover, response times for each target word decreased with absolute difference between its rated weight and the rated weight of the reference word, in line with a distance effect. Overall, these results provide evidence of a possible spatial representation of weight.

Keywords

SQUARC effect SNARC-like effect Distance effect Spatial coding Weight judgment 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Martin Fischer and two reviewers for valuable suggestions on a former version of the manuscript. We also thank and S. Gareth Edwards for his valuable comments. Original materials used to conduct the research will be made available upon request. Raw data can be downloaded from here: https://osf.io/7r9bd/.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were approved by the Ethics Committee for Psychological Research at the University of Padova, and were in accordance with the ethical standards of the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Baayen RH, Davidson DJ, Bates DM (2008) Mixed-effects modelling with crossed random effects for subjects and items. J Mem Lang 59:390–412.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2007.12.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baroni M, Bernardini S, Ferraresi A, Zanchetta E (2009) The WaCky wide web: a collection of very large linguistically processed web-crawled corpora. Lang Resour Eval 43:209–226.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10579-009-9081-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bates D, Maechler M, Bolker B, Walker S (2015) Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. J Stat Softw 67:1–48.  https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v067.i01 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bruzzi E, Talamini F, Priftis K, Grassi M (2017) A SMARC effect for loudness. iPerception 8:2041669517742175.  https://doi.org/10.1177/2041669517742175 Google Scholar
  5. Brysbaert M, Stevens M (2018) Power analysis and effect size in mixed effects models: a tutorial. J Cogn 1:9.  https://doi.org/10.5334/joc.10 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buckingham G (2014) Getting a grip on heaviness perception: a review on weight illusions and their probable causes. Exp Brain Res 232:1623–1629.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-014-3926-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Buckingham G, MacDonald A (2016) The weight of expectation: implicit, rather than explicit, prior expectations drive the size–weight illusion. Q J Exp Psychol 69:1831–1841.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2015.1100642 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buckingham G, Ranger NS, Goodale MA (2011) The material–weight illusion induced by expectations alone. Atten Percept Psychophys 73:36–41.  https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-010-0007-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Casasanto D (2009) Embodiment of abstract concepts: good and bad in right-and left-handers. J Exp Psychol Gen 138:351–367.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015854 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chang S, Cho YS (2015) Polarity correspondence effect between loudness and lateralized response set. Front Psychol 6:683.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00683 Google Scholar
  11. Cohen Kadosh R, Lammertyn J, Izard V (2008) Are numbers special? An overview of chronometric, neuroimaging, developmental, and comparative studies of magnitude representation. Prog Neurobiol 84:132–147.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pneurobio.2007.11.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dehaene S (1997) The number sense: how the mind creates mathematics. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  13. Dehaene S, Dupoux E, Mehler J (1990) Is numerical comparison digital? Analogic and symbolic effects in two-digit number comparison. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 16:626–641.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-1523.16.3.626 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dehaene S, Bossini P, Giraux P (1993) The mental representation of parity and number magnitude. J Exp Psychol Gen 122:371–396.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-3445.122.3.371 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Di Rosa E, Bardi L, Umiltà C, Masina F, Forgione M, Mapelli D (2017) Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) reveals a dissociation between SNARC and MARC effects: implication for the polarity correspondence account. Cortex 93:68–78.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2017.05.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dijker AJ (2014) The role of expectancies in the size-weight illusion: a review of theoretical and empirical arguments and a new explanation. Psychon Bull Rev 21:1404–1414.  https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-014-0634-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ellis RE, Lederman SJ (1999) The material-weight illusion revisited. Percept Psychophys 61:1564–1576.  https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03213118 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fias W, Brysbaert M, Geypens F, d’Ydewalle G (1996) The importance of magnitude information in numerical processing: evidence from the SNARC effect. Math Cogn 2:95–110.  https://doi.org/10.1080/135467996387552 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fischer MH (2006) The future of the SNARC could be the STARK…. Cortex 42:1066–1068.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0010-9452(08)70218-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fischer MH, Shaki S (2011) Predilection or preconception? A reply to Treccani and Umiltà. Brain Cogn 75:316–318.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2010.11.011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fischer MH, Shaki S, Cruise A (2009) It takes just one word to quash a SNARC. Exp Psychol 56:361–366.  https://doi.org/10.1027/1618-3169.56.5.361 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fischer MH, Mills RA, Shaki S (2010) How to cook a SNARC: number placement in text rapidly changes spatial-numerical associations. Brain Cogn 72:333–336.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2009.10.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Flanagan JR, Bittner JP, Johansson RS (2008) Experience can change distinct size-weight priors engaged in lifting objects and judging their weights. Curr Biol 18:1742–1747.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2008.09.042 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fumarola A, Prpic V, Da Pos O, Murgia M, Umiltà C, Agostini T (2014) Automatic spatial association for luminance. Atten Percept Psychophys 76:759–765.  https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-013-0614-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gevers W, Reynvoet B, Fias W (2003) The mental representation of ordinal sequences is spatially organized. Cognition 87:B87–B95.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0010-0277(02)00234-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gevers W, Verguts T, Reynvoet B, Caessens B, Fias W (2006) Numbers and space: a computational model of the SNARC effect. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 32:32–44.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-1523.32.1.32 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hartmann M, Mast FW (2017) Loudness counts: interactions between loudness, number magnitude, and space. Q J Exp Psychol 70:1305–1322.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2016.1182194 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Herrera A, Macizo P, Semenza C (2008) The role of working memory in the association between number magnitude and space. Acta Psychol 128:225–237.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2008.01.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Holmes KJ, Lourenco SF (2013) When numbers get heavy: is the mental number line exclusively numerical? PLoS ONE 8:e58381.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0058381 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Krause F, Bekkering H, Lindemann O (2013) A feeling for numbers: shared metric for symbolic and tactile numerosities. Front Psychol 4:7.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kuznetsova A, Brockhoff PB, Christensen RHB (2017) lmerTest package: tests in linear mixed effects models. J Stat Softw 82:1–26.  https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v082.i13 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lenth RV (2016) Least-squares means: the R package lsmeans. J Stat Softw 69:1–33.  https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v069.i01 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moyer RS, Landauer TK (1967) Time required for judgments of numerical inequality. Nature 215:1519–1520.  https://doi.org/10.1038/2151519a0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Myachykov A, Scheepers C, Fischer MH, Kessler K (2014) TEST: a tropic, embodied, and situated theory of cognition. Top Cogn Sci 6:442–460.  https://doi.org/10.1111/tops.12024 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nuerk HC, Wood G, Willmes K (2005) The universal SNARC effect: the association between number magnitude and space is amodal. Exp Psychol 52:187–194.  https://doi.org/10.1027/1618-3169.52.3.187 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Oldfield RC (1971) The assessment and analysis of handedness: the Edinburgh inventory. Neuropsychologia 9:97–113.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0028-3932(71)90067-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Proctor RW, Cho YS (2006) Polarity correspondence: a general principle for performance of speeded binary classification tasks. Psychol Bull 132:416–442.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.132.3.416 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ren P, Nicholls MER, Ma Y, Chen L (2011) Size matters: non-numerical magnitude affects the spatial coding of response. PLoS ONE 6:e23553.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0023553 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ross HE (1969) When is a weight not illusory? Q J Exp Psychol 21:346–355.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14640746908400230 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schwarz W, Müller D (2006) Spatial associations in number-related tasks: a comparison of manual and pedal responses. Exp Psychol 53:4–15.  https://doi.org/10.1027/1618-3169.53.1.4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sellaro R, Treccani B, Job R, Cubelli R (2015) Spatial coding of object typical size: evidence for a SNARC-like effect. Psychol Res 79:950–962.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-014-0636-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Shaki S, Fischer MH (2018) Deconstructing spatial-numerical associations. Cognition 175:109–113.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2018.02.022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Shaki S, Fischer MH, Petrusic WM (2009) Reading habits for both words and numbers contribute to the SNARC effect. Psychon Bull Rev 16:328–331.  https://doi.org/10.3758/PBR.16.2.328 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shaki S, Petrusic WM, Leth-Steensen C (2012) SNARC effects with numerical and non-numerical symbolic comparative judgments: instructional and cultural dependencies. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 38:515–530.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026729 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Treccani B, Umiltà C (2011) How to cook a SNARC? Space may be the critical ingredient after all: a comment on Fischer, Mills, and Shaki (2010). Brain Cogn 75:310–315.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2010.11.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Vallesi A, Binns MA, Shallice T (2008) An effect of spatial- temporal association of response codes: understanding the cognitive representations of time. Cognition 107:501–527.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2007.10.011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. van Dijck JP, Fias W (2011) A working memory account for spatial-numerical associations. Cognition 119:114–119.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2010.12.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Vicovaro M, Burigana L (2017) Contribution of surface material and size to the expected versus the perceived weight of objects. Atten Percept Psychophys 79:306–319.  https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-016-1212-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Walsh V (2003) A theory of magnitude: common cortical metrics of time, space and quantity. Trends Cogn Sci 7:483–488.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2003.09.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Walsh V (2015) A theory of magnitude: the parts that sum of numbers. In: Cohen Kadosh R, Dowker A (eds) The Oxford handbook of numerical cognition. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 552–565Google Scholar
  51. Westfall J, Kenny DA, Judd CM (2014) Statistical power and optimal design in experiments in which samples of participants respond to samples of stimuli. J Exp Psychol Gen 143:2020–2045.  https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Winter B, Matlock T, Shaki S, Fischer MA (2015) Mental number space in three dimensions. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 57:209–219.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.09.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wood G, Willmes K, Nuerk HC, Fischer MH (2008) On the cognitive link between space and number: a meta-analysis of the SNARC effect. Psychol Sci Q 50:489–525.  https://doi.org/10.1027/1618-3169.52.3.187 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Developmental and Social PsychologyUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Department of General PsychologyUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly

Personalised recommendations