Affective judgement about information relating to competence and warmth: An embodied perspective

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Several studies have shown that social judgement may be defined by two dimensions, competence and warmth. From a functional perspective, embodied theories have proposed that warmth may be associated with physical distance, whereas competence may be connected to a vertical motion (UPWARD/DOWNWARD). Two main studies were conducted to examine if approach–avoidance and vertical motion could influence affective judgements about traits representing these two social dimensions. Valence judgements about warmth traits that were moving towards the subject resulted in more positive judgement than when they were moving away (approach/avoidance). Furthermore, competence traits were judged more positively when they moved in an UPWARD direction, compared with when they moved DOWNWARD. A metacognitive account of confidence is offered to explain how cognitions about warmth and competence are connected to the physical world.

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