ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (3): 413-423.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.00413

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What is the mechanism of negation processes? Introduction and commentary on psychological theories on negation

GAO Zhihua1,2; LU Zhongyi1; CUI Xinying3   

  1. (1 College of Education, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050091, China); (2 College of Psychology, North China University of Science and Techonology, Tangshan 063000, China) (3 School of Chinese Language and Literature, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
  • Received:2016-02-25 Online:2017-03-15 Published:2017-03-15
  • Contact: LU Zhongyi, E-mail:


In the research field of negation processing, there are two important and opposite psychological theories: the Propositional Symbol Theory and the Embodied Cognition Theory. The former mainly includes the Schema-Plus-Tag Model and the Model Theory of Negation. It holds that negation is an abstract logic symbol whose function is to transform into the opposite of the core proposition (the assertive proposition). The latter mainly includes the Two-Step-Simulation Hypothesis and the Perception Simulation Theory of Negation. It holds that negation is an embodying process represented by the related time cost or space projection. On the basis of introductions of the main ideas and their respective limitations of these theories, the differences between these theories were compared and analyzed. At last, the Suppression- Reactivation-Resuppression Theory was proposed, and the future research approaches was discussed.

Key words: negation, Propositional Symbol Theory, Embodied Cognition Theory, the Suppression- Reactivation-resuppression Theory