My study attempted to find out if the old part of our brain (limbic system) had a significant role in influencing how we detect the valence of blurry words without conscious awareness of what the words are. 10 participants were shown blurry words that could not be read and were asked to guess valence, without a time limit. The hypotheses for this study was that participants would be accurate in detecting valence of blurred words and that participants would rate negative words the most accurately. I also predicted that participants would attempt to read words before rating valence and they would attempt to read the words only in the beginning. The stimuli were shown to the participants on printed-paper. There were 10 blurred words per page with accompanying 5-point Likert scales by each blurred word with a reference scale at the top of every page. My research data found that there was a significant statistical difference between people’s ability to detect the valence of blurred words compared to the normal ability (which is 100% accuracy). The comparison showed that the participants were significantly worse at detecting the valence of blurred words than unblurred words. There was no significant statistical difference between people’s ability to detect the valence of blurry neutral words compared to the valence of blurry nonsensical words. Participants were equally accurate at both of these word-types. Participant responses also showed that they were statistically better at detecting the valence of negative blurry words than positive blurry words. So they were better at detecting negative valence than those of other valences.

Additional Metadata
Publisher Department of Cognitive Science
Series Cognitive Science Technical Report Series
Citation
Yisa, Felix. (2015). Can Shape Predict An Emotional Response? Detecting the Valence of Blurry Words. Technical Report 2015-01. Cognitive Science Technical Report Series. Department of Cognitive Science.