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Electrocortical Differentiation of Evaluative and Nonevaluative Categorizations
Psychological Science (1996)
  • Stephen L Crites, University of Texas at El Paso
  • John T Cacioppo, Ohio State University - Main Campus

The evaluative categorizations that underlie affective and attitudinal judgments have often been equated with nonevaluative categorizations despite the central importance of evaluative processes for survival. In the present experiment, a late positive potential (LPP) of the event-related brain potential elicited when participants evaluatively categorized food items as positive or nonpositive was compared with the LPP elicited when participants semantically (i.e., nonevaluatively) categorized food items as vegetable or nonvegetable. Results revealed that evaluative categorizations evoked an LPP that was relatively larger over the right than the left scalp regions compared with the LPP evoked by nonevaluative categorizations. This finding provides evidence regarding the differences in neural and cognitive processes involved in evaluative and nonevaluative categorizations.

  • attitudes,
  • social neuroscience,
  • ERPs
Publication Date
Citation Information
Crites, S. L., Jr., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1996). Electrocortical differentiation of evaluative and nonevaluative categorizations. Psychological Science, 7(5), 318-321. Available at: