Monday, May 12, 2014

Right on, Baby

Speaking of being path dependent (academically);
Filtering words through our fingers as we type appears to be changing their meanings. On average, words typed with more letters from the right side of the QWERTY keyboard are more positive in meaning than words typed with more letters from the left: This is the QWERTY effect (Jasmin & Casasanto, 2012), which was shown previously across three languages. 
In five experiments, here we replicate the QWERTY effect in a large corpus of English words, extend it to two new languages (Portuguese and German), and show that the effect is mediated by space-valence associations encoded at the level of individual letters. Finally, we show that QWERTY appears to be influencing the names American parents give their children. Together, these experiments demonstrate the generality of the QWERTY effect, and inform our theories of how people’s bodily interactions with a cultural artifact can change the way they use language. 
That's from, The QWERTY Effect: How typing shapes word meanings and baby names, by Daniel Casasanto, et al. In essence, that right handed people like typing letters on the right side of the keyboard, ergo; Louis is more favored than Edward.

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