Negative sentences exhibit a sustained effect in delayed verification tasks

Galit Agmon, Yonatan Loewenstein, Yosef Grodzinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Negated sentences are known to be more cognitively taxing than positive ones (i.e., polarity effect). We present evidence that two factors contribute to the polarity effect in verification tasks: processing the sentence and verifying its truth value. To quantify the relative contribution of each, we used a delayed verification task. The results show that even when participants are given a considerable amount of time for processing the sentence prior to verification, the polarity effect is not entirely eliminated. We suggest that this sustained effect stems from a retained negation-containing representation in working memory. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-141
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


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