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dc.contributor.authorPalumbo, Letizia
dc.contributor.authorRuta, Nicole
dc.contributor.authorBertamini, Marco
dc.identifier.citationPalumbo, L., Ruta, N. and Bertamini, M. (2015) 'Comparing angular and curved shapes in terms of implicit associations and approach/avoidance responses', PloS one, 10(10), p.e0140043.en_US
dc.descriptionArticle published in PLoS ONE on 13 October 2015, available open access at:
dc.description.abstractMost people prefer smoothly curved shapes over more angular shapes. We investigated the origin of this effect using abstract shapes and implicit measures of semantic association and preference. In Experiment 1 we used a multidimensional Implicit Association Test (IAT) to verify the strength of the association of curved and angular polygons with danger (safe vs. danger words), valence (positive vs. negative words) and gender (female vs. male names). Results showed that curved polygons were associated with safe and positive concepts and with female names, whereas angular polygons were associated with danger and negative concepts and with male names. Experiment 2 used a different implicit measure, which avoided any need to categorise the stimuli. Using a revised version of the Stimulus Response Compatibility (SRC) task we tested with a stick figure (i.e., the manikin) approach and avoidance reactions to curved and angular polygons. We found that RTs for approaching vs. avoiding angular polygons did not differ, even in the condition where the angles were more pronounced. By contrast participants were faster and more accurate when moving the manikin towards curved shapes. Experiment 2 suggests that preference for curvature cannot derive entirely from an association of angles with threat. We conclude that smoothly curved contours make these abstract shapes more pleasant. Further studies are needed to clarify the nature of such a preference.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC, Ref. ES/K000187/1)en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesPLoS ONE;
dc.titleComparing Angular and Curved Shapes in Terms of Implicit Associations and Approach/Avoidance Responsesen_US
rioxxterms.funderCardiff Metropolitan Universityen_US
rioxxterms.identifier.projectCardiff Metropolian (Internal)en_US

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    Fovolab aspires to push the boundaries of understanding perceptual experience – how we perceive and are aware of the world.

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