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LINGUIST List 17.3291

Sun Nov 12 2006

Qs: Subconscious Linguistic Influences on Grading

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        1.    Thomas Scott, Subconscious Linguistic Influences on Grading


Message 1: Subconscious Linguistic Influences on Grading
Date: 08-Nov-2006
From: Thomas Scott <tds101york.ac.uk>
Subject: Subconscious Linguistic Influences on Grading


Hello!

I'm an MA student researching the effect of positive/negative connotations
of selected words in students' assignments on markers' grading decisions.
As part of my BA last year, I ran a pilot study that found that markers give
reliably lower grades to essays that contain examples with negative
connotations - all other things being equal.

I'm having trouble finding relevant literature to form a solid theoretical
background for my MA, though. Bargh, Chen and Burrows' ''Automaticity of
Social Behavior'' (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 71(2): 230-
244) includes a wonderful scrambled-sentence test that provides evidence
for such subconscious influences in a general sense, but I can't find anything
more specifically linguistic.

I feel sure that I can't be the first person to investigate this, but after days of
trawling through journals I've drawn a blank. Perhaps I'm not searching for
the right keywords; I'd be grateful for any references, any advice -- or heck,
any keywords I could search for!

Many thanks,

Tom Scott
tds101york.ac.uk

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science
                            General Linguistics
                            Linguistic Theories
                            Psycholinguistics

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