Ivana Bianchi

Ivana Bianchi
University of Macerata | UNIMC · Department of Humanities, Languages, Mediation, History, Arts and Philosophy

PhD Psychology

About

70
Publications
15,024
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538
Citations
Introduction
Currently working in the field of the experimental phenomenology of perception, in particular on the perception of contrariety between visual stimuli, mirror perception and the methodological issues concerning experimental phenomenology (for example inter-observation). Areas of interest: Experimental Phenomenology of Perception; Direct perception of relationships: from Identity to Opposition; Perception and cognition of contraries; Spatial perception; Naive Optics; Mirror reflections.
Additional affiliations
March 2005 - present
University of Macerata
Position
  • Associate Professor of General Psychology

Publications

Publications (70)
Article
Full-text available
With reference to 64 common descriptors of the sensory properties of wine (e.g., tannic, full‐bodied, etc.), we investigated the extent to which these terms are understood by Australian standard consumers in relation to an opposite property (i.e., as happens in the case of experts). The study also determined how consistently these dimensions were a...
Article
Three studies investigate adults’ naïve intuitions about what constitutes an “opposite process”. In Study one, the task involves iconic stimuli, that is, simple diagrams showing a transformation. In Study two, the participants were asked to produce a written description of the transformation process shown in the diagram and then to write what they...
Article
Full-text available
Our aim in this paper is to contribute toward acknowledging the general role of opposites as an organizing principle in the human mind. We support this claim in relation to human reasoning by collecting evidence from various studies which shows that “thinking in opposites” is not only involved in formal logical thinking, but can also be applied in...
Article
Opposites are central to many areas in the fields of Psychology and Linguistics, but they are also fundamental to the technical scales used to describe wine (e.g., the Wine and Spirit Education Trust evaluation scales). The present study explores whether it is useful to refer to opposites in order to model Vietnamese standard (vs. expert) consumers...
Article
Expert wine tasters have a greater ability than non-experts to discriminate between and evaluate the sensory properties of wine. In this paper we explore non-experts’ understanding of a set of 64 terms which are frequently used as descriptors of the sensory properties of wine. These terms can be found in guidebooks on Italian wine, in production sp...
Article
We presented participants with simple diagrams representing a transformation from x to y, and asked them to draw what they considered to be the opposite process/es. The focus of the study was on the participants’ naïve idea of opposites and on whether asking them to write a verbal description of the stimulus prior to the task (implying more conscio...
Article
This study aims to investigate the hypothesis that “thinking in opposites” might facilitate insight problem solving. For example, if the image relating to a problem is oriented horizontally, it may be that making it vertical makes it easier to see the solution. We focus on visuo-spatial insight problem solving and study four conditions (training vs...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Healthcare staff should be aware of the importance that patients may attach to the words that are used to convey information. This is relevant in terms of the patients’ understanding. Modeling how people understand the information conveyed in a medical context may help health practitioners to better appreciate the patients’ approach. Pu...
Article
This paper proposes a new way of analyzing the contrast between an ironic comment and the referent context by focusing on the structure of the dimension which the contrast belongs to. This new approach was stimulated by previous experimental studies demonstrating that dimensions are perceptually made up of two opposite poles and an intermediate reg...
Article
Full-text available
Background An extensive body of literature has demonstrated that many patients who have been asked to participate in clinical trials do not fully understand the informed consent forms. A parallel independent study has demonstrated that opposites have a special status in human cognitive organization: they are common to all-natural languages and are...
Article
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In this paper, a parallel analysis of the enjoyment derived from humor and insight problem solving is presented with reference to a “general” Theory of the Pleasures of the Mind (TPM) (Kubovy, 1999) rather than to “local” theories regarding what makes humor and insight problem solving enjoyable. The similarity of these two cognitive activities has...
Article
Full-text available
In this eye-tracking and drawing study, we investigate the perceptual grounding of different types of spatial dimensions such as dense-sparse and top-bottom, focusing both on the participants' experiences of the opposite regions, e.g., O1: dense; O2: sparse, and the region that is experienced as intermediate, e.g., INT: neither dense nor sparse. Si...
Article
Full-text available
In three studies participants were asked to rate the degree of irony perceived in comments relating to five variations of a scenario, ranging from one pole to the opposite pole and passing through three in-between states. In study 1, the comments pertained to the polar extremes of a dimension, e.g. “It’s uphill!” stated with reference to varying de...
Article
This study adds to the existing literature on the ability to understand irony of typically developing versus gifted students (aged 12–15). In addition to the canonical condition of polarized statements applied to oppositely polarized situations, we also considered the case of intermediate statements and situations. The results showed a significant...
Article
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Symmetry is a salient aspect of biological and man-made objects, and has a central role in perceptual organization. Two studies investigate the role of opposition and identicalness in shaping adults’ naïve idea of “symmetry”. In study 1, both verbal descriptions of symmetry (either provided by the participants or selected from among alternatives pr...
Article
This paper presents a comparative analysis of the ability to recognize three mirror forms in visual and acoustic tasks: inversion (reflection on a horizontal axis), retrograde (reflection on a vertical axis) and retrograde inversion (reflection on both horizontal and vertical axes). Dynamic patterns consisting of five tones in succession in the aco...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aims to test whether the use of contraries can facilitate spatial problem solving. Specifically, we examined whether a training session which included explicit guidance on thinking in contraries would improve problem solving abilities. In our study, the participants in the experimental condition were exposed to a brief training session b...
Article
Full-text available
Several studies on verbal irony agree on the fact that in order to comprehend the ironic value of a comment a contrast has to be detected (e.g. Colston, O’Brien 2000a, 2008b; Giora 1995; Giora et al. 2005; Kreuz & Link 2002). “Contrast” is defined more or less implicitly as the gap or distance between two ends of a dimension. Questions have been ra...
Article
We studied adults' understanding of the relationship between objects and their reflections. Two studies investigated whether adults performed in a similar way when asked to predict the movement of a reflection in a flat mirror based on the movement of the corresponding object or, vice versa, predict the movement of the material object based on the...
Article
Full-text available
A focused review of the literature on reasoning suggests that mechanisms based upon contraries are of fundamental importance in various abilities. At the same time, the importance of contraries in the human perceptual experience of space has been recently demonstrated in experimental studies. Solving geometry problems represents an interesting case...
Article
Full-text available
Many adults hold mistaken beliefs concerning the behavior of mechanical motion and reflections. In the field of psy- chology this has been investigated in the areas of naïve physics and naïve optics. The interesting question regards where these false beliefs come from. Particularly thought-provoking is the case of errors which are at odds not only...
Article
The three studies presented here aim to contribute to a better understanding of the role of the coordinate system of a person's body and of the environment in spatial organization underlying the recognition and production of gestures. The paper introduces a new approach by investigating what people consider to be opposite gestures in addition to id...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aims to contribute to the idea that the relationship between art and science is fundamental to research into the visual structure of mirror reflections. The purpose of the paper is to argue that a) both art and laboratory studies enable us to explore the perceptual constraints underlying the recognition of a scene as “a reflection”; b) r...
Article
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Additional evidence is presented concerning the anisotropy between vertical and horizontal encoding, which emerges from studies of human perception and cognition of space in plane mirror reflections. Moreover, it is suggested that the non-metric characteristic of polarization – that Jeffery et al. discuss with respect to gravity – is not limited to...
Article
This article aims to study the extension and immediacy of the perception of intermediates during the observation of images showing a variation in a spatial property from one extreme (e.g. at the top of a mountain) to the opposite extreme (e.g. at the bottom of a mountain). Three experiments were carried out: rating tasks were used in studies 1 and...
Chapter
According to the cognitive approach to humour, the understanding of jokes implies the recognition of an incongruity followed by its resolution. Through our work, we aim to contribute to this strand of research by investigating the link between cognitive processes and the understanding of humour. In particular, we will explore the distinction betwee...
Article
Full-text available
According to the cognitive approach to humor, the comprehension of humorous texts implies recognizing an incongruity and resolving it. This article studies whether the cognitive process involved in the recognition of incongruity is affected by the conditions that make contrariety evident or only analytically recognizable in the perceptual domain. I...
Article
Research on naïve physics and naïve optics have shown that people hold surprising beliefs about everyday phenomena that are in contrast with what they see. In this article, we investigated what adults expect to be the field of view of a mirror from various viewpoints. The studies presented here confirm that humans have difficulty dealing with the r...
Article
Reflections are interesting perceptual phenomena, which have inspired both scientific research in the psychology of perception and research in the visual arts. The paper discusses one of the most peculiar aspect of mirror images, i.e. the fact that they are characterized by identity and opposition at the same time. The discussion encompasses not on...
Article
The issue of unidimensionality is dealt with in various research areas in the field of Psychology (e.g. conceptual spaces, semantic modeling, psychometrics) and always involves spatial modeling. An investigation of the dimensionality of opposite spatial scales (even basic) has however not yet been carried out. In this paper we look at whether oppos...
Article
Full-text available
We explored the nature of 37 spatial dimensions in Italian, such as LUNGO�CORTO (LONG-SHORT), INIZIO-FINE (BEGINNING-END), and CONVERGENTE-DIVERGENTE (CONVERGENT-DIVERGENT). In Study 1 we investigated their metric structure.We asked: (1) Are the extensions of the two poles (P1 and P2) the same? (2) What proportion of each dimension can be said to b...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses whether negation, as a modifier of degree, leads to different outcomes based on the psychophysical structure of the polar dimension along which the shift produced by the negator ‘‘not’’ occurs. In three experiments, the interpretation of negation in association with four different types of dimension was analysed. The types compr...
Chapter
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Martin (2002) writes, “[I]ntrospection of one’s perceptual experience reveals only the mind-independent objects, qualities and relations that one learns about through perception. Experience is diaphanous or transparent to the objects of perception.”
Article
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Strong claims have been made about the importance of orientation in visual art. Although there have been a few studies whether left or right oriented pictures are more aesthetically pleasing, there have been no empirical studies whether the meaning and expressiveness of pictures depend on orientation. Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) made explicit decisio...
Article
The study aimed to investigate naïve beliefs regarding the dynamic and static behavior of reflections. In the first three experiments, participants in the study made predictions about the correspondence between real and reflected movements or about the orientation of the reflection of a static object placed in front of a mirror. In Experiments 1 an...
Chapter
Full-text available
The experimental work carried out by Savardi and Bianchi within the framework of a phenomenological approach to contrariety (Savardi & Bianchi, 2000, 2005; Bianchi & Savardi 2006, 2008a) provided a significant body of research in support of the hypotheses that a) contrariety is not only logical but also perceptual and b) that the perception of cont...
Chapter
Full-text available
The purpose of this chapter is to show how an analysis of the perception of mirror images provides an interesting contribution to the analysis of contrariety as a perceptual phenomenon. The old debate on the mirror question had the merit of bringing to the forefront the egocentric right-left reversal which characterizes reflections on plane mirrors...
Chapter
Full-text available
Evident invariance and maximum opposition: are these also the prerequisites for recognition of contrariety between verbs? In the field of semantic analysis of antonyms, it is acknowledged that antonyms are words which presuppose a common dimension (Cruse, 1986) or, as re-stated by Muehleisen (1997), which have a great deal of semantic range in comm...
Chapter
Full-text available
There are at least two important areas of research in Cognitive Sciences where the existence of psychological dimensions is taken for granted and dealt with as a basic, fundamental cognitive condition. On one side is the literature on opposites (e.g. small-large, light-heavy, old-young), with the default assumption that opposites are extremes of a...
Article
The head is a special part of our body since we do not see it directly. Four experiments were conducted to verify what healthy people know about the size of their head. As a control, we used the accuracy in estimating other people's heads (in all the experiments) and the estimation of the size of another part of the body, the hand (in Experiment 4)...
Article
We analyse here people's perception of their reflections in mirrors placed in different positions. In two experiments, participants looked at their mirror image, in a third experiment they looked at another person's image. In both cases they were asked to answer a series of questions about how the virtual body appeared relative to the real body, fo...
Article
A mirror optically reverses the axis that is perpendicular to its surface. The psychological implications of this stimulus transformation have been discussed thus far in the literature under the title of the ‘mirror question’. From the earliest to the most recent discussions, authors have always begun by describing a given perception (the left/righ...
Article
Full-text available
Sommario L'articolo presenta lo stato dell'arte del lavoro sulla formazione a distanza promosso da un gruppo di ricerca del Dipartimento di Psicologia e Antropologia culturale di Verona, in cinque anni di sperimentazione didattica sviluppata in corsi di laurea, scuola di specialità SSIS, master e dottorato di ricerca. Il cuore del progetto è il pro...
Article
Full-text available
Is there any bias in people' se stimates of the size of their own head? Are these estimates comparable to estimates of othe rp eople' sh eads? The head is an important par to fo ur body in terms of physical identity ,b ut it is special because, unlik eo ther body parts, we canno td irectly see it. We have many opportunities to see our head in photo...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
Contraries are pervasive in our perceptual experience of the world, our emotions, our systems of classification, our reasoning processes and our language. What lies behind this fact? Are we dealing here with a really basic cognitive structure? By means of experimentation, this project will study the invariant structures of opposition as they emerge from various different cognitive functions and will consider the consequences of these results in terms of theory, methodology and application to specific contexts. This will hopefully allow cognitive scientists to discover something new about the cognitive roots of this relationship which since time immemorial has been recognized as being so central to human cognition. Current lines of investigation: WP1 - Visual analyses of spatial opposites WP2 - Perceptual structure of dimensions: opposites and intermediates WP3 - Opposites in visual and acoustic mirror symmetry WP4 - Imitating a gesture, doing the opposite gesture WP5 - Opposites/contrast in problem solving and creativity WP6 - Contrast in irony WP7 - Gifted performances in recognizing and describing contrariety WP8 - Gifted ability to process opposites in visuo-spatial and linguistic problem solving tasks WP9 - Opposites in doctor-patient communication WP10 - Opposites and negation