Dr. Sascha Topolinski
Associated member: January 2007 - July 2009
Dissertation title: The role of affects and cognitive feelings in intuitive judgments.
Abstract: In semantic coherence judgments individuals are able to intuitively discriminate whether a word triad has a common remote associate (coherent) or not (incoherent) without retrieving the common associate. A processing-fluency account for these intuitions is proposed. It is assumed that a) coherent triads are processed more fluently than incoherent triads, b) this high fluency triggers a subtle positive affect, and c) this affect may be experienced as a cognitive feeling and used in any explicit judgment. Testing these stages, it was shown in 3 experiments that coherent triads a) are processed faster than incoherent triads, b) serve as positive affective primes, and c) are liked more than incoherent triads.
In Experiment 4 it was shown that the fluency-triggered affect is the internal cue used in coherence judgments: Provided with an irrelevant source of their affective reactions, participants lost the ability to intuitively discriminate between coherent and incoherent triads.
Prof. Dr. Fritz Strack
Dept. Psychology II, Röntgenring 2, 97070 Würzburg
Social Cognition Center Cologne
Faculty of Arts and Humanity
University of Cologne