Date of Completion
Gerry Altmann, James Magnuson, Letitia Naigles, Eiling Yee
Field of Study
Master of Science
Previous literature has suggested that, when given change of state events in a visual world paradigm task, individuals anticipate either the object that can be acted upon or the goal. This study investigated under what circumstances an individual anticipates one over the other. We used reversible action verbs (e.g. open/close), destruction verbs (e.g., eat), and creation verbs (e.g., knit) in the past and future tense to investigate how anticipation differs across these conditions. Individuals heard sentences such as "The woman will open the umbrella" while seeing four objects on a screen: the initial state (e.g., a closed umbrella), the end state (e.g., an open umbrella), and two distractors. The eye-tracking data showed that, for reversible action verbs and creation verbs, individuals anticipated the end state significantly more than the initial state in the past tense and future tense. For destruction verbs, no significant differences were found, but participants showed numerically more looks to the end state in the past tense and the initial state in the future tense. These results suggest that, in the past tense, individuals anticipate the goal of the action, which is also the object that can be acted on. In the future tense, individuals anticipate the goal most with fewer looks to the object that can be acted on. For the destruction verbs, the goal is not depicted, so individuals look most to the object to be acted upon.
Krass, Kyra, "Investigating How Anticipation of Object States Drives Event Comprehension" (2017). Master's Theses. 1167.