Publications

To judge a book by its weight you need to know its content: Knowledge moderates the use of embodied cues

Participants evaluated a book as more important when it weighed heavily in their hands (due to a concealed weight), but only when they had substantive knowledge about the book. Those who had read a synopsis (Study 1), had read the book (Study 2) and knew details about its plot (Study 3) were influenced by its weight, whereas those unfamiliar with the book were not. This contradicts the widely shared assumption that metaphorically related perceptual inputs serve as heuristic cues that people primarily use in the absence of more diagnostic information. Instead, perceptual inputs may increase the accessibility of metaphorically congruent knowledge or may suggest an initial hypothesis that is only endorsed when supporting information is accessible.