Users may memorize better positive words when they are at the bottom of the screen and vice versa

In a study conducted in 2014, researchers investigated how the fact that we often associate positive things with “up” and negative things with “down” can affect our ability to remember positive and negative words. In the primary task, 18 participants had to observe words displaying on the top or bottom of the screen before writing them down by memory. The analytical approach involved comparing proportions of words by valence and recall, in regards of location, as well as mean and standard error of recalls. Confounders like arousal and valence differences between words were controled. Among other hypothesis, the primary hypothesis which posited that positive words would be more easily memorized when presented on the bottom of the screen and vice versa (experiment 1), was supported by the results with a large (p. 2) effect size. This overview provides a concise synthesis of the most relevant results. For more details, please refer to the article page.

It is likely that placing negative words up and positive words down will result in a better memorization.

Crawford, L. E., Cohn, S. M., & Kim, A. B. (2014). “Good is up” is not always better: a memory advantage for words in Metaphor-Incompatible locations. PLOS ONE, 9(9), e108269.

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