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An experiment and discussion on the effect of violation of space in the society

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Conceived and designed the experiments: Received 2013 Sep 4; Accepted 2014 Feb 3. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Previous research has shown that ideas which violate our expectations, such as schema-inconsistent concepts, enjoy privileged status in terms of memorability. In our study, memory for concepts that violate cultural cultural schema-level expectations e.

Concepts that violate cultural expectations, or counter-schematic, were remembered to a greater extent compared with concepts that violate ontological expectations and with intuitive concepts e. Importantly, concepts related to agents showed a memory advantage over concepts not pertaining to agents, but this was true only for expectation-violating concepts.

Our results imply that intuitive, everyday concepts are equally attractive and memorable regardless of the presence or absence of agents.

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We conclude that due to their evolutionary salience, cultural ideas which combine expectancy violations and the involvement of an agent are especially memorable and thus have an enhanced probability of being successfully propagated. Introduction Research in psychology and anthropology has looked into the question of what makes some ideas more culturally successful than others. It has been suggested that cultural ideas enjoy a cultural transmission advantage because they appeal to human cognitive architecture [1][2][3][4][5][6].

The success of an idea is determined by psychological factors, such as how attention is attracted to a particular idea, and subsequently, how easily this idea is represented and remembered [4][7][8].

Similarly, concepts violating our ontological expectations seem to have a unique position in attracting attention and leading to distinct encoding. Yet, research in the area of cognition and culture has predominantly focused on domain-level breaches, i. However, the role of agents in memorability to conceptual information has been largely overlooked. Throughout their ontogeny, humans become attuned to understanding how actions and events in the world operate and what can be expected or unexpected yet viable, i.

When presented with information, humans activate the potential characteristics of that information and compare the incoming information with already existing knowledge [22]making inferences about possible outcomes of events and their respective probabilities and also activating a set of expectations employed when encountering new information [23][24].

  • Also, the nonverbal cues individuals;;;
  • Furthermore, the human mind is endowed with core knowledge systems, which provide general inferences about various domains objects, actions, numbers, space , and new knowledge is generated based on the foundations of those core systems [25];
  • Intuitive, schema-consistent information does not violate any expectations;
  • Sociologists are not the ones who are best known for developed theories on personal space.

Furthermore, the human mind is endowed with core knowledge systems, which provide general inferences about various domains objects, actions, numbers, spaceand new knowledge is generated based on the foundations of those core systems [25]. Such concepts infringe upon some fundamental assumptions about domain-specific knowledge, like intuitive psychology theory of mindbiology, or physics [27][28].

This particular feature gives those ideas powerful inferential potential, allowing for various inferences and interpretations, resulting in their easier representation and memorability. Experimental studies have suggested that the presence of mild violations of intuitive ontological expectations in either concept form or narrative material is optimal for human attention and memory, and thus beneficial for the transmission of those concepts [1][2][5][29].

However, other studies suggest a more complex picture, showing that context might play a more important role in the memorability of individual concepts [30][31][32][33][34].

Importantly, processing time, which is a particularly important factor both for attention and memory, was not controlled for in the majority of extant studies as participants were permitted to spend various amounts of time reading and studying concepts embedded in stories [1][30][34][35] or concept lists [5][30].

This variability in processing time might have resulted in attentional preference for more unique, slightly bizarre concepts such as minimally counterintuitive conceptswith factors such as post-stimulus elaboration making the memory trace less prone to forgetting [36]. Only a few studies have controlled for confounding factors such as processing time, word frequency and word length [31][37][38].

Our study offers a precise examination of memory for expectancy-violating concepts while controlling for these confounding variables.

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An additional factor that might bias the memorability of concepts with violations to either domain-level or cultural schema-level expectations is the presence of agents in the individual concepts. A prominent attribute of religious ideas is that many of them contain minimally counter-intuitive concepts in which non-agents are ascribed with agent-like qualities e. The human propensity for detecting agents in ambiguous situations is unavoidable and powerful [39]and has been related to adaptive mechanisms that facilitate the identification of potentially harmful agents [40][41].

It has been proposed that humans have developed a sensitive hazard-precaution system to defend themselves against potential dangers predation, contagion, intrusion by strangers etc. Intentional agents in particular might often represent a potential threat and therefore it is extremely advantageous to be able to detect them effectively. Thus, overattribution of agents, even when there is none [43][44]might be a beneficial strategy for survival.

Based on the above, memory for agents i.

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Therefore, examining memory for cultural schema-level versus domain-level violations, each as related to agents versus non-agents, provides an important addition to the current research on understanding the memorability of cultural ideas.

Here, we present two experiments tapping into this problem by using immediate recall as well as surprise delayed recognition tasks. Intuitive, schema-consistent information does not violate any expectations: Schema refers to the employment of simplified, shared cultural knowledge that helps predict and anticipate events, agents, and actions [41] by representing their prototypical attributes that are available in a specific situation [42]. Furthermore, we introduced two different expectation violations.

First, ontological or domain-level expectation-violating ideas, i. Introducing these novel factors in the study of concept memorability can potentially elucidate some of the mechanisms underlying the success of certain cultural ideas.

Methods Ethics statement Written informed consent was obtained from all participants and the study was approved by the ethics committee of the Czech Association for the Study of Religions. Immediate memory recall Our first experiment investigated the role of expectation violation on subsequent memory recall. We used a simple task in which participants were presented with concepts randomly from three different concept categories.

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Two categories pertained to expectancy-violating concepts. The first category included ontological violations ONT which are claimed to be an important and underlying component of the success of many cultural ideas [26]. These ideas violate intuitive ontologies, i. The second category was represented by concepts that violate cultural schema-level expectations, i.

In other words, they violate cultural intuitions and refer to cultural schema-level breaches CUL e. Cultural schema-level breaches comply with expectations pertaining to folk biology, folk psychology, and folk physics, but violate expectations related to culturally acquired schemas.

Characteristics and Consequences of Expectation Violations in Close Relationships

Finally, the third category was represented by intuitive concepts INTi. The aim was to examine memory for individual concept categories. The individual concepts used in the study are displayed in Table 1. Table 1 Individual concepts pertaining to cultural schema-level violations, ontological violations, or intuitive ideas.

  • We are socialized into, or learn, the rules of our culture, and then we use some communication tools to determine if the rules are being followed;
  • Culture, Gender Gender Culture and gender directly affect how one perceives personal space and how others perceive someone's personal space;
  • Noncontact cultures are Northern Europeans, Asians, and Americans;
  • We are socialized into, or learn, the rules of our culture, and then we use some communication tools to determine if the rules are being followed;
  • Only a few studies have controlled for confounding factors such as processing time, word frequency and word length [31] , [37] , [38].