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20-07-2019 | Original Article | Uitgave 8/2020

Psychological Research 8/2020

Low numbers from a low head? Effects of observed head orientation on numerical cognition

Tijdschrift:
Psychological Research > Uitgave 8/2020
Auteurs:
Felix J. Götz, Anne Böckler, Andreas B. Eder
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Abstract

The present research shows effects of observed vertical head orientation of another person on numerical cognition in the observer. Participants saw portrait-like photographs of persons from a frontal view with gaze being directed at the camera and the head being tilted up or down (vs. not tilted). The photograph appeared immediately before each trial in different numerical cognition tasks. In Experiment 1, participants produced smaller numbers in a random number generation task after having viewed persons with a down-tilted head orientation relative to up-tilted and non-tilted head orientations. In Experiment 2, numerical estimates in an anchoring-like trivia question task were smaller following presentations of persons with a down-tilted head orientation relative to a non-tilted head orientation. In Experiment 3, a response key that was associated with larger numbers in a numerical magnitude task was pressed less frequently in a randomly intermixed free choice task when the photograph showed a person with a down-tilted relative to an up-tilted head orientation. These findings consistently show that social displays can influence numerical cognition across a variety of task settings.

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