149 research outputs found

    Causation, the Law, and Mental Models.

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    Learning from text benefits from enactment.

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    The role of kinematic mental simulation in creating false memories

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    Our investigation focuses on memory for scenes depicted in photos. According to the mental model theory, the observation of a static scene depicted in a photo which portrays an actor near to perform an action can trigger a kinematic mental simulation of that action unfolding in time. The deriving prediction is that such a kinematic mental model supports the creation of a false memory of the actor performing an advanced phase of the action. We test this prediction in three experiments in which participants are presented with static scenes of actions, and after three days they perform a recognition task in which they assess recognition of old and novel static scenes depicting actions. The results confirm that false memories occur for actions that represent the unfolding over time of the static action initially observed. Our theoretical framework can accommodate also several previous findings in the literature on false memories

    Comprehension of communicative intentions: The case of figurative language

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    This study is concerned with children's comprehension of the communicative meaning of conventional figurative communication acts. We assume that com prehending the communicative meaning of both figurative and non-figurative communication acts involves the same cognitive processes. We hypothesize that the complexity of the mental representations involved accounts for the increasing difficulty in comprehending the very same conventional figurative expression, uttered with a sincere, deceitful or ironic intent. A pre-test on 20 children (7 to 7; 6 year-olds) ascertained the conventionality of the 6 figurative expressions used as the experimental material, e.g. To be as mute as a fish . For each figurative expression we created three different communicative contexts, within which that expression acquired either a sincere, deceitful or ironic communicative meaning. In the experiment, we presented 108 children aged 7 to 10; 6 years with brief audio-recorded stories, each involving a figurative expression in a specific communicative context. The children's performance reflects the predicted trend in difficulty for comprehending the use of the very same figurative expression, from the easiest to the most difficult: sincere, deceitful, ironic. Our results are in favor of a unifying framework for explaining the comprehension of figurative and non-figurative communication acts
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