Grounded Spatial Belief Revision

Abstract

Beliefs frequently undergo revisions, especially when new pieces of information are true but inconsistent with current beliefs. In previous studies, we showed that spatial belief revision is often guided by the functional asymmetry between the reference object and the located objects of the spatial relation. Here we first draw a connection between spatial belief revision and grounded cognition. In two experiments, we explored whether imagined physical properties of objects influence which object is relocated and which remains at its initial position. Participants mentally revised beliefs about the arrangement of objects which could be envisaged as small and large (Experiment 1) or easy to move and difficult to move (Experiment 2). The results show that (1) small objects are more often relocated than larger objects and (2) easy to move objects are faster relocated than difficult to move objects. The findings are in line with the idea of grounded cognition.


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