Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal
      

 

2020 Vol. 13 Issue 74

Shcherbakova O.V., Novikovskaia N.A. “He that has an ill name is half-hanged”? Role of verbalization in unfolding of imagery representations of concrete and abstract concepts

Full text in Russian: Щербакова О.В., Новиковская Н.А.  «Как вы яхту назовете, так она и поплывет»? Роль вербальных компонентов мышления в актуализации образной структуры абстрактных и конкретных понятий

Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Sirius University of Science and Technology, Sochi, Russia

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The article is focused on one of the central issues of psychology of thinking and reasoning – the mechanism of verbal-imagery conversion underlying the distinction between essential and non-essential features of objects. It also describes the role of verbalisation in unfolding of mental images of concrete and abstract concepts.
The following hypotheses were experimentally tested: 1) quality of verbal definition of a concept correlates positively with the quality of its mental image; 2) prior formulation of verbal definition of a concept improves the quality of its mental image; 3) numbers of essential features included into both verbal and imagery representations differ between concrete and abstract concepts; 4) numbers of essential features included into representations of both concrete and abstract concepts depend on the type of preceding mental activity (verbalisation or depicting); 5) numbers of essential features included into both pictorial and verbal representations correlate with psychometric intelligence. The study comprised 61 participants (42 females, mean age = 20 years) assigned to one of the four groups (three experimental and one control condition) differing in types and numbers of experimental tasks. Participants were administered J. Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices Test (which we used to control the level of psychometric intelligence) and either standard or modified version of “Pictograms” test.
The results showed that quality of imagery representations of concepts correlated positively with the quality of their verbal definitions; however, none of these variables was related to psychometric intelligence. Even though the second hypothesis of the study was not confirmed, verbalisation was found to lead to representation of a larger number of essential features of concepts compared to depicting. In addition, mental representations of abstract concepts appeared to include more essential features than those of concrete concepts. We interpret these findings as the evidence for integral mechanism of conceptual processing that contributes to the coordination of verbal and imagery processes. They might also highlight the lack of imagery skills in young adults due to ‘total visualisation’ of everyday cognitive and educational practices.

Keywords: conceptual thinking, concrete and abstract concepts, verbal-to-imagery conversion, mental imagery, written verbalisation, ‘Pictograms’ test, concreteness effect, essential and superficial features of concepts 

Full text in Russian >>

 

Acknowledgements / Acknowledgement

The authors thank Dr. Maria V. Osorina for her help in developing the criteria for pictograms assessment and valuable commentaries on the research methodology.

Funding

The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project № 19-313-51016


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Received 18 September 2020. Date of publication: 31 December 2020.

About author

Shcherbakova Olga V. PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Associate Professor at the Department of General Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Saint Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya nab. 7/9, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russia.
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Novikovskaya Nadezhda A. Master of Psychology, Research Engineer at the Laboratory of Behavioural Neurodynamics, Saint Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya nab. 7/9, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russia; Visiting Researcher, Sirius University of Science and Technology, Olimpiiskiy pr. 1, 354340 Sochi, Russia.
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Suggested citation

Shcherbakova O.V., Novikovskaya N.A. Role of verbalization in unfolding of imagery representations of concrete and abstract concepts. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 2020, Vol. 13, No. 74, p. 6. http://psystudy.ru (in Russian, abstr. in English).

Permanent URL: http://psystudy.ru/index.php/eng/2020v13n74e/1826-shcherbakova74e.html

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