Emotion words in the monolingual and bilingual lexicon
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
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To determine how differences in emotion representation and/or inhibitory ability affect adolescents’ responses to emotion words, 13-yr and 16-yr olds, as well as adults, were compared on the processing of emotion-laden and neutral words. Word ratings revealed that 16-yr olds tended towards perceiving all words as more arousing than did adults, irrespective of valence. Also, they rated words more negatively than 13-yr olds. Performance on an Affective Simon task revealed a marked incongruency effect only for 13-yr olds (and then only for negative words) but not for 16-yr olds (who responded fastest) or adults. Performance on a sustained attention task confirmed the expected age-related increase in inhibitory ability and a concomitant increase in response latencies. Our conclusions are two-fold. First, there are age-related differences in lexical representation which appear more marked for 16-yr olds. Second, 16-yr olds are more reactive, irrespective of the emotional content they are processing, yet appear to control its impact as efficiently as adults.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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