• Moving Situations: Not Whether, but When and How Arm Flexion/Extension Relate to Attitude Change

      Weisberg, Robert W.; Karpinski, Andrew; Marshall, Peter J.; Newcombe, Nora; Shipley, Thomas F.; Weinraub, Marsha (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      Flexion and extension arm actions have been studied with regard to whether and in what way(s) they are associated with attitudes. In this paper, I report the results of three experiments in which I investigated the valence of the attitude objects, the meaningfulness of the attitude objects, and the repetition of the arm action as factors that might influence the relation between flexion and extension arm actions and attitudes. In Experiment 1, I tested the influence of flexion and extension on attitude formation with novel, meaningless, but valenced, stimuli (Chinese characters). I predicted an Action x Stimulus Valence interaction such that both arm flexion and arm extension would result in higher pleasantness ratings of Chinese characters, when they were paired with positive and negative stimuli, respectively. Rather than the hypothesized interaction, I observed only a main effect for Stimulus Valence: positive characters were rated as more pleasant than were negative characters. In Experiment 2, I tested the influence of flexion and extension on attitude change with familiar, meaningful, valenced stimuli (foods). I predicted a main effect for Action, such that arm flexion would result in higher pleasantness ratings than would arm extension, regardless of Stimulus Valence, I also predicted a main effect of Stimulus Valence, such that positive foods would be rated as more pleasant than negative foods. Again, I observed only a main effect for Stimulus Valence in the predicted direction. In Experiment 3, I examined the influence of arm actions on attitudes over time using novel, meaningful, valenced stimuli (faces). I predicted that attitudes, as measured by an IAT, would be less biased for participants who repeatedly practiced responding to negative stimuli with a flexing action, compared to those of participants who repeatedly practiced responding to negative stimuli with an extending action. This prediction was weakly supported.