Publication details [#62]

Connell, Louise and Dermot Lynott. 2012. Strength of perceptual experience predicts word processing performance better than concreteness or imageability. Cognition 125 : 452–465. 14 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: Elsevier


The paper investigated the assumption that abstract concepts are different from concrete ones due to their lack of perceptual information. Concreteness and imageability ratings were compared in two separate studies and in five different types of modalities: sound, taste, touch, smell and vision. It was shown that neither concreteness nor imageability reflect the perceptual basis of concepts. Even with the presence of synaesthetic metaphoric expressions (i.e., taste of success) participants did not conceive the concepts as concrete. Moreover, it was demonstrated that concreteness effects in word processing are subject to the perceptual strength of a concept's representation.