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Sentence processing: Evidence against the serial, independent stage assumption

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The assumption that the processing stages involved in sentence comprehension are serially and independently executed was tested in two separate experiments using two new sentence types. One experiment was a sentence-picture verification task, the other was not. In Experiment I, subjects viewed sentences such as “It's false that the dots are red” and indicated, by pressing the appropriate response key, which of two colors would make the sentence true. In Experiment II, subjects verified sentences such as “It isn't true that the dots aren't red” against pictures of colored dots. On the strength of Sternberg's additive factor method, present findings challenge the validity of the serial, independent stage assumption, and results are alternatively discussed in terms of a capacity sharing model.

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Author information

Correspondence to Carol A. Vázquez.

Additional information

This research was supported by PHS research grant MH 23401 to Sam Glucksberg, principal investigator.

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Vázquez, C.A. Sentence processing: Evidence against the serial, independent stage assumption. J Psycholinguist Res 10, 363–374 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01067164

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  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Present Finding
  • Separate Experiment
  • Processing Stage
  • Factor Method