Individual differences and emotional inferences during reading comprehension

Gillioz, Christelle Olivia; Gygax, Pascal; Tapiero, Isabelle (2012). Individual differences and emotional inferences during reading comprehension. Canadian journal of experimental psychology - Revue canadienne de psychologie expérimentale, 66(4), pp. 239-250. Canadian Psychological Association 10.1037/a0028625

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This paper investigated readers’ representations of the main protagonist’s emotional status in short narratives, as well as several mental factors that may affect these representations. General and visuo-spatial working memory, empathy and simulation were investigated as potential individual differences in generating emotional inferences. Participants were confronted with narratives conveying information about the protagonist’s emotional state. We manipulated each narrative’s target sentence according to its content (emotional label vs. description of the behavior associated to the emotion) and to its congruence to the story (matching vs. mismatching). The results showed that globally the difference between reading times of congruent and incongruent target sentences was bigger in the behavioral than in the emotional condition. This pattern was accentuated for high visuo-spatial working memory participants when they were asked to simulate the stories. These results support the idea that mental models may be of a perceptual nature and may more likely include behavioral elements than emotion labels per se, as suggested earlier by Gygax et al. (2007).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of French Language and Literature

UniBE Contributor:

Gillioz, Christelle Olivia, Gygax, Pascal Mark


800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 840 French & related literatures
400 Language > 440 French & related languages
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
400 Language > 410 Linguistics




Canadian Psychological Association




Christelle Olivia Gillioz

Date Deposited:

10 Apr 2017 11:42

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:28

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