Lucien Baumgartner, Pascale Willemsen, & Kevin Reuter
Baumgartner, L., Willemsen, P., & Reuter, K. (2022). The polarity effect of evaluative language. Philosophical Psychology.
Publication year: 2022

Recent research on thick terms like “rude” and “friendly” has revealed a polarity effect, according to which the evaluative content of positive thick terms like “friendly” and “courageous” can be more easily canceled than the evaluative content of negative terms like “rude” and “selfish”. In this paper, we study the polarity effect in greater detail. We first demonstrate that the polarity effect is insensitive to manipulations of embeddings (Study 1). Second, we show that the effect occurs not only for thick terms but also for thin terms such as “good” or “bad” (Study 2). We conclude that the polarity effect indicates a pervasive asymmetry between positive and negative evaluative terms.

One Response to “The polarity effect of evaluative language”

  1. Pascale Willemsen

    This paper is based on a shorter article (Baumgartner, Willemsen, and Reuter (2022)) which was published in the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.