The Emoji Spatial Stroop Task: Exploring the impact of vertical positioning of emoji on emotional processing

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Kaye, Linda K
Darker, Gemma M
Rodriguez-Cuadrado, Sara
Wall, Helen J
Malone, Stephanie A
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2022
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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Abstract

Despite emoji often being assumed to be a form of emotional communication, the emotional affordances of these are not yet fully established. The current study employed the Emoji Spatial Stroop Task to explore whether spatial iconicity affects semantic-relatedness judgments relating to emoji stimuli. Namely, emoji stimuli were displayed in various vertical positions and valence perceptions were measured. A 3 (emoji valence; positive, negative, neutral) x 3 (vertical position; upper, lower, central) within-participants design was used to determine the impacts on valence perceptions. Valence perceptions were obtained from ratings on how positive/negative participants perceived stimuli to be on an 11-point Likert scale (−5 negative, 0 neutral and +5 positive). Findings from 157 participants revealed that, after controlling for current mood, both emoji valence and their vertical positioning impacted significantly on valence ratings. The valence × positioning interaction effect was also significant, highlighting a congruence effect whereby positive emoji in higher vertical space were rated significantly more positively than when in central or lower space, and negative emoji were rated significantly more negatively when displayed in lower vertical space compared to central or upper space. These congruence effects suggest we may embody emoji as symbolic objects to represent abstract emotional concepts.

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Computers in Human Behavior
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132
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© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
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Subject
Applied and developmental psychology
Social Sciences
Psychology, Multidisciplinary
Psychology, Experimental
Psychology
Emoji
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Kaye, LK; Darker, GM; Rodriguez-Cuadrado, S; Wall, HJ; Malone, SA, The Emoji Spatial Stroop Task: Exploring the impact of vertical positioning of emoji on emotional processing, Computers in Human Behavior, 2022, 132, pp. 107267
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