Bidirectional semantic associations between social power and weight

Authors:
Xiaoling He, Jun Chen, Jianan Li
Published Online:
13 Jan 2016
DOI:
10.1002/ijop.12255
Volume/Issue No:
Early View Articles

Additional Options

Two experiments were conducted to examine bidirectional semantic associations between power and weight using a priming paradigm. Bidirectionality in the relationship between power and weight was demonstrated, utilising tasks that were identical except that the orders in which the stimuli were presented were reversed. In Experiment 1, an empty scale leaning either leftward or rightward was used as a priming stimulus, and a scale that appeared in equilibrium with a pair of power words was used as a target stimulus. In Experiment 2, a scale with a pair of words that appeared in equilibrium was used as a priming stimulus, and an empty scale leaning either leftward or rightward was used as a target stimulus. We identified interaction effects between power and weight in both experiments. Associations between power and weight provide evidence for both conceptual metaphor views and evolutionary theory. The bidirectionality of metaphorical effects is in line with the strong version of metaphoric structuring. Both language and experiential correlations play important roles in the development of the mapping between power and weight.

© 2016 International Union of Psychological Science