The Estimated Aspect of Speech Associative Representation of Mental States

Author Name(s): Ekaterina M. Alekseeva, Aliya A. Singatullova
Author Email: ealekseeva@list.ru

Abstract

The article deals with associative speech representation of mental states, its evaluation aspect. 32 students of the Kazan Federal University (26 females and 6 males) aged from 18 to 22 years took part in an association experiment, developed on the basis of the DMDX program. The time of speech reaction to the presented stimuli – the concepts of 25 mental states was determined. The subjects had to estimate the states by answering the question “what?” and giving an adjective. The average time of the estimated response to the concepts of states on the computer monitor was 2246,9 milliseconds. Associative speech estimated reaction turned out to be the fastest to the stimuli “expectation” (1182,9 milliseconds), “thought” (1603,8 milliseconds), “fatigue” (1654,8 milliseconds), the slowest – to the stimuli “remorse” (2808,5 milliseconds) and “nervousness” (2743,3 milliseconds). 463 associative speech reactions in the form of adjectives were given by the subjects to the concepts of 25 states, on average by 18,5 adjectives for each state. The concepts amorousness and remorse have the largest number of speech estimated associations (by 23 different adjectives). The least number of evaluative associations are characterized by the concepts thoughts, delight and indecision (by 15 adjectives). The most pronounced nucleus is the evaluative associative fields of states thoughts and delight. The evaluative associative fields of mental states are distinguished by the presence of near-nuclear layers and sufficiently densely filled periphery.

Introduction

The study of the associative representation of mental phenomena (and, first and foremost, emotions and mental states) is of great scientific interest. The question of the structure of the organization of knowledge about emotions, the development of this knowledge in the course of ontogenesis [1], the representation of emotions at different consciousness levels [2], the level organization of mental representations of mental states, their linguistic features [3-6] and others has already been

raised. In view of the fact that states as a mental phenomenon are an individual and subjective phenomenon of the psyche, it is necessary to investigate the universal and specific components of associative representations of mental states. This will demonstrate the important patterns in the formation of the structure of associative representations of the world on the whole and about oneself.

The purpose of this paper was to study the estimated associative speech representation of mental states. The research tasks lied in reconstructing the evaluative associative fields of mental states and in determining the time of associative speech response to visually presented names of mental states.

The very associative method is by no means novel. The associative experiment was the most widespread when its participants needed to give their associations in writing to certain concepts [7]. Oral associations, as well as the oral associations during the psycholinguistic experiment being conducted in the conditions of time constraint, are studied considerably less.

An experimental procedure allowing to measure the time of a speech response to the concepts of mental states presented on the monitor with an accuracy of milliseconds was used in the present research.

Conclusion

On the basis of the obtained data, it became possible to study the quantitative and qualitative features of speech estimated associative reactions to the names of mental states, and also to reconstruct the estimated associative fields of the studied mental states. This contributes to the development of a structure-level model of representations of mental states, in which the level of assessment is of key importance.

The prospects for the research consist in conducting a study of situational associative representation of mental states, where, as a verbal association, the subjects should name a situation of which a particular state is characteristic.

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