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What’s in a name? Role of verbal context in touch


Saluja, Supreet; Chan, Karina; Lynch, Tully; Stevenson, Richard (2022), What’s in a name? Role of verbal context in touch, Dryad, Dataset,


Can a name (i.e., verbal context) change how we react to and perceive an object? This question has been addressed several times for chemosensory objects, but never for touch. To address this, two studies were run. In each, we allocated participants to a Positive, Neutral or Negative Group, and asked them to touch the same four objects, twice – first, named by the experimenter according to their Group-name, and second, named by the participant. Participants were timed as they touched and rated the objects on pleasantness and disgust. Negative-named objects were touched for shorter durations, and rated more negatively, than neutral-named objects, and positive-named objects were touched for the longest and rated most positively. In the second presentation, most objects (>90%) were named by participants in accord with their assigned Group-names. The similarity of these findings to chemosensory verbal context effects and their mechanistic basis is discussed.


Two lab based experiments - data collected via Qualtrics, Time-duration recordings, and Video-data. Data processed on SPSS. All methods and analyses are detailed in the MS.