Negative Sentences Exhibit a Sustained Effect in Delayed Verification Tasks

Galit Agmon*, Yonatan Loewenstein, Yosef Grodzinsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Negated sentences are known to be more cognitively taxing than positive ones (i.e., polarity effect). We present evidence that two factors contribute to the polarity effect in verification tasks: processing the sentence and verifying its truth value. To quantify the relative contribution of each, we used a delayed verification task. The results show that even when participants are given a considerable amount of time for processing the sentence prior to verification, the polarity effect is not entirely eliminated. We suggest that this sustained effect stems from a retained negation-containing representation in working memory.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)122-141
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Psychological Association


  • Negation
  • Quantifiers
  • Sentence processing
  • Sentence representation
  • Verification


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