Article Accepted Manuscript

Below zero? Universal distance effect and situated space and size associations in negative numbers

Author(s) / Creator(s)

Jeglinski-Mende, Melinda A.
Miklashevsky, Alex
Fischer, Martin H.

Abstract / Description

While some researchers place negative numbers on a so-called extended mental number line to the left of positive numbers, others claim that negative numbers do not have mental representations but are processed through positive numbers combined with transformation rules. We measured spatial associations of negative numbers with a modified implicit association task that avoids spatial confounds present in most previous studies. In two lab-based magnitude classification experiments (each including 24 participants) and two online replications (with 74 and 77 participants, respectively), positive and negative numbers were combined with two spatial contexts: either directional symbols (left- or right-pointing arrows) or rectangles of varying sizes. In all experiments, we found a robust distance effect for negative numbers. However, there were no consistent associations of negative numbers with directional or size contexts. In the context of directional symbols, holistic processing, i.e., processing in accordance with the extended mental number line hypothesis, was prevalent only in the small negative number range (-9, -8, -7, -6) when ensured by the stimulus set, supporting an extended mental number line. In the context of rectangles, however, large negative numbers from -4 to -1 were perceived as small, thus supporting rule-based processing. For negative number processing in the context of size, we further suggest the Semantic-Perceptual Size Congruity Cuing model (SPeSiCC model). We show that associations of size with negative numbers underly more complex processing mechanisms than mere recruitment of a transformation rule. In general, we conclude that associations of negative numbers with space and size are situated in the context, as they depend on the presented number range and differ for spatial direction and size.

Keyword(s)

numerical cognition mental number line spatial-numerical associations negative numbers implicit association test Semantic Perceptual Size Congruity Cuing model SPeSiCC model

Persistent Identifier

Date of first publication

2022-08-29

Journal title

Journal of Numerical Cognition

Publisher

PsychArchives

Publication status

acceptedVersion

Review status

reviewed

Is version of

Citation

Jeglinski-Mende, M. A., Miklashevsky, A., & Fischer, M. H. (in press). Below zero? Universal distance effect and situated space and size associations in negative numbers [Accepted manuscript]. Journal of Numerical Cognition. http://doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.8147
  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
    Jeglinski-Mende, Melinda A.
  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
    Miklashevsky, Alex
  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
    Fischer, Martin H.
  • PsychArchives acquisition timestamp
    2022-08-29T09:21:42Z
  • Made available on
    2022-08-29T09:21:42Z
  • Date of first publication
    2022-08-29
  • Abstract / Description
    While some researchers place negative numbers on a so-called extended mental number line to the left of positive numbers, others claim that negative numbers do not have mental representations but are processed through positive numbers combined with transformation rules. We measured spatial associations of negative numbers with a modified implicit association task that avoids spatial confounds present in most previous studies. In two lab-based magnitude classification experiments (each including 24 participants) and two online replications (with 74 and 77 participants, respectively), positive and negative numbers were combined with two spatial contexts: either directional symbols (left- or right-pointing arrows) or rectangles of varying sizes. In all experiments, we found a robust distance effect for negative numbers. However, there were no consistent associations of negative numbers with directional or size contexts. In the context of directional symbols, holistic processing, i.e., processing in accordance with the extended mental number line hypothesis, was prevalent only in the small negative number range (-9, -8, -7, -6) when ensured by the stimulus set, supporting an extended mental number line. In the context of rectangles, however, large negative numbers from -4 to -1 were perceived as small, thus supporting rule-based processing. For negative number processing in the context of size, we further suggest the Semantic-Perceptual Size Congruity Cuing model (SPeSiCC model). We show that associations of size with negative numbers underly more complex processing mechanisms than mere recruitment of a transformation rule. In general, we conclude that associations of negative numbers with space and size are situated in the context, as they depend on the presented number range and differ for spatial direction and size.
    en_US
  • Publication status
    acceptedVersion
    en_US
  • Review status
    reviewed
    en_US
  • Citation
    Jeglinski-Mende, M. A., Miklashevsky, A., & Fischer, M. H. (in press). Below zero? Universal distance effect and situated space and size associations in negative numbers [Accepted manuscript]. Journal of Numerical Cognition. http://doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.8147
    en_US
  • ISSN
    2363-8761
  • Persistent Identifier
    https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12034/7441
  • Persistent Identifier
    https://doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.8147
  • Language of content
    eng
    en_US
  • Publisher
    PsychArchives
    en_US
  • Is version of
    https://doi.org/10.5964/jnc.6763
  • Is related to
    https://doi.org/10.5964/jnc.6763
  • Is related to
    https://doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.8143
  • Keyword(s)
    numerical cognition
    en_US
  • Keyword(s)
    mental number line
    en_US
  • Keyword(s)
    spatial-numerical associations
    en_US
  • Keyword(s)
    negative numbers
    en_US
  • Keyword(s)
    implicit association test
    en_US
  • Keyword(s)
    Semantic Perceptual Size Congruity Cuing model
    en_US
  • Keyword(s)
    SPeSiCC model
    en_US
  • Dewey Decimal Classification number(s)
    150
  • Title
    Below zero? Universal distance effect and situated space and size associations in negative numbers
    en_US
  • DRO type
    article
    en_US
  • Journal title
    Journal of Numerical Cognition
    en_US
  • Visible tag(s)
    PsychOpenGOLD
    en_US
  • Visible tag(s)
    Accepted Manuscript
    en_US