Assessing size and subjective value of objects with diminutive names

Konrad Bocian , Olga Białobrzeska , Michał Parzuchowski


Numerous studies show that language (in its grammatical forms or morphology) can influence both perceptual judgments, as well as the mental categorization of objects in memory. Previous research showed that using diminutive names of objects resulted in being less satisfied with owning said objects and lowering their perceived value. In the present studies, to explore this phenomenon, we decided to investigate whether the influence of a diminutive on the reduction in the subjective value of an object is determined by the perceived size of the object, in accordance with the „bigger is better” heuristic. In Study 1 participants estimated a banknote to be smaller when it was presented with a diminutive label “banknocik” (banknote with diminutive) than “banknot” (banknote). However, this was not related to the perceived subjective value of the banknote. In Study 2 participants declared that they could buy less with a coin labeled as “pieniążek” (coin with diminutive) than “pieniądz” (coin), but the effect was not linked to the perceived size of the coins. In Study 3 a candy bar labeled as “batonik” (candy bar with diminutive) was evaluated worse than the same product labeled “baton” (candy bar), however, once again this was not related to the evaluation of its size (weight). Thus, we show that the effect of diminutives on the reduction in the subjective value of an object is independent of the evaluation of the size of the object and we consider other explanations for the occurrence of this phenomenon.
Author Konrad Bocian (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie)
Konrad Bocian,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie
, Olga Białobrzeska (Wydział Psychologii)
Olga Białobrzeska,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Michał Parzuchowski (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie)
Michał Parzuchowski,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie
Journal seriesPolish Psychological Bulletin, ISSN 0079-2993, e-ISSN 1641-7844, (B 15 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishwords: diminutives, judgment, language, money, perception, size
ASJC Classification3200 General Psychology
Languageen angielski
Bocian_art_Assessing_2017.pdf 262.56 KB
Additional file
Oświadczenie_Bocian_2018.pdf 401.75 KB
Oświadczenie_OB.pdf 41.13 KB
Oswiadczenie_O.Bialobrzeska_Assessing size.pdf 200.46 KB
Score (nominal)15
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 0.232
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