Memory & Cognition

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 1047–1066 | Cite as

Semantic and repetition priming effects for Deese/Roediger—McDermott (DRM) critical items and associates produced by DRM and unrelated study lists

  • Chi-Shing TseEmail author
  • James H. Neely


Two lexical decision experiments investigated priming for a critical item (CI, sleep) and its related yoked associate (YA, blanket) when one had been studied in a related Deese/Roediger—McDermott (DRM) list (Experiments 1 & 2) or a list of totally unrelated words (Experiment 2) and the other had been nonstudied. Semantic priming from the related DRM list occurred for nonstudied CIs (but not YAs) regardless of whether the CI received within-test priming from its studied related YA during the lexical decision task, though the effect in the absence of within-test priming averaged across experiments was only significant by a one-tailed test. Also averaged across experiments, repetition priming occurred for both studied CIs and YAs when they had been studied in related DRM lists whether or not there was also within-test priming from a nonstudied related yoked pairmate, though individual effects within the two experiments were sometimes not significant. Repetition priming boosted semantic priming from related DRM lists less for CIs than for YAs, similar to the finding that memory discriminability is poorer for CIs than for YAs in episodic recognition. This smaller repetition priming boost for CIs than for YAs occurred to the same degree when the CIs or YAs were studied in an unrelated list. When nonstudied CIs and YAs were totally unrelated to all previously studied items and separated by 3-7 items in the lexical decision task, a YA produced a small 16 msec priming effect for its CI, averaged across both experiments. The implications of these results for the activation account of the DRM false-memory effect and for single-prime versus multiple-prime long-term semantic priming effects are discussed. The online addendum may be downloaded from


Lexical Decision Lexical Decision Task False Memory Study List Semantic Priming 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Supplementary material (196 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 340 KB.


  1. Anderson, J. R. (1983). A spreading activation theory of memory.Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior,22, 261–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arndt, J., &Hirshman, E. (1998). True and false recognition in MINERVA2: Explanations from a global matching perspective.Journal of Memory & Language,39, 371–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. nBalota, D. A., Cortese, M. J., Hutchison, K. A., Neely, J. H., Nelson, D., Simpson, G. B., & Treiman, R. (2002).The English Lexicon Project: A web-based repository of descriptive and behavioral measures for 40,481 English words and nonwords. Available at elexicon, Washington University.Google Scholar
  4. Becker, C. A. (1979). Semantic context and word-frequency effects in visual word recognition.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance,5, 252–259.Google Scholar
  5. Becker, S., Moscovitch, M., Behrmann, M., &Joordens, S. (1997). Long-term semantic priming: A computational account and empirical evidence.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,23, 1059–1082.Google Scholar
  6. Brainerd, C. J., &Reyna, V. F. (2005).The science of false memory. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brainerd, C. J., Reyna, V. F., &Kneer, R. (1995). False-recognition reversal: When similarity is distinctive.Journal of Memory & Language,34, 157–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buchner, A., &Wippich, W. (2000). On the reliability of implicit and explicit memory measures.Cognitive Psychology,40, 227–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Coane, J. H., &McBride, D. M. (2006). The role of test structure in creating false memories.Memory & Cognition,34, 1026–1036.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cohen, J. (1988).Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Dannenbring, G. L., &Briand K. (1982). Semantic priming and the word repetition effect in a lexical decision task.Canadian Journal of Psychology,36, 435–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Deese, J. (1959a). Influence of interitem associative strength upon immediate free recall.Psychological Reports,5, 235–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Deese, J. (1959b). On the prediction of occurrence of particular verbal intrusions in immediate free recall.Journal of Experimental Psychology,58, 17–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dodd, M. D., Sheard, E. D., &MacLeod, C. M. (2006). Re-exposure to studied items at test does not influence false recognition.Memory,14, 115–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Duchek, J. M., &Neely, J. H. (1989). A dissociative word-frequency ?? levels-of-processing interaction in episodic recognition and lexical decision tasks.Memory & Cognition,17, 148–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dunlap, W. P., Cortina, J. M., Vaslow, J. B., &Burke, M. J. (1996). Meta-analysis of experiments with matched groups or repeated measures designs.Psychological Methods,1, 170–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Faust, M. E., Balota, D. A., Spieler, D. H., &Ferraro, F. R. (1999). Individual differences in information-processing rate and amount: Implications for group differences in response latency.Psychological Bulletin,125, 777–799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gallo, D. A., Roberts, M. J., &Seamon, J. G. (1997). Remembering words not presented in lists: Can we avoid creating false memories?Psychonomic Bulletin & Review,4, 271–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Glanzer, M., &Adams, J. K. (1985). The mirror effect in recognition memory.Memory & Cognition,13, 8–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hancock, T. W., Hicks, J. L., Marsh, R. L., &Ritschel, L. (2003). Measuring the activation level of critical lures in the Deese/Roediger-McDermott paradigm.American Journal of Psychology,116, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hicks, J. L., &Starns, J. J. (2005). False memories lack perceptual detail: Evidence from implicit word-stem completion and perceptual identification tests.Journal of Memory & Language,52, 309–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hintzman, D. L. (1988). Judgments of frequency and recognition memory in a multiple-trace memory model.Psychological Review,95, 528–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hughes, A. D., &Whittlesea, B. W. A. (2003). Long-term semantic transfer: An overlapping-operations account.Memory & Cognition,31, 401–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hutchison, K. A., Balota, D. A., Cortese, M., & Watson, J. M. (in press). Predicting semantic priming at the item-level.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.Google Scholar
  25. Johnson, M. K., Hashtroudi, S., &Lindsay, D. S. (1993). Source monitoring.Psychological Bulletin,114, 3–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Joordens, S., &Becker, S. (1997). The long and short of semantic priming effects in lexical decision.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,23, 1083–1105.Google Scholar
  27. Joordens, S., &Besner, D. (1992). Priming effects that span an intervening unrelated word: Implications for models of memory representation and retrieval.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,18, 483–491.Google Scholar
  28. Kahana, M. J., &Greene, R. L. (1993). Effects of spacing on memory for homogeneous lists.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,19, 159–162.Google Scholar
  29. Kinoshita, S. (1995). The word frequency effect in recognition memory versus repetition priming.Memory & Cognition,23, 569–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kučera, H., &Francis, W. N. (1967).Computational analysis of present-day American English. Providence, RI: Brown University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Landauer, T. K., &Dumais, S. T. (1997). A solution to Plato’s problem: The Latent Semantic Analysis theory of the acquisition, induction, and representation of knowledge.Psychological Review,104, 211–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lövdén, M., &Johansson, M. (2003). Are covert verbal responses mediating false implicit memory?Psychonomic Bulletin & Review,10, 724–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Marsh, E. J., McDermott, K. B., &Roediger, H. L. (2004). Does test-induced priming play a role in the creation of false memories?Memory,12, 44–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Masson, M. E. J. (1991). A distributed memory model of context effects in word identification. In D. Besner & G. W. Humphreys (Eds.),Basic processes in reading: Visual word recognition (pp. 233–263). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  35. McBride, D. M., Coane, J. H., &Raulerson, B. A. (2006). An investigation of false memory in perceptual implicit tasks.Acta Psychologica,123, 240–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McDermott, K. B. (1997). Priming on perceptual implicit memory tests can be achieved through presentation of associates.Psychonomic Bulletin & Review,4, 582–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McKone, E. (2004). Distinguishing true from false memories via lexical decision as a perceptual implicit test.Australian Journal of Psychology,56, 42–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McKone, E., &Murphy, B. (2000). Implicit false memory: Effects of modality and multiple study presentations on long-lived semantic priming.Journal of Memory & Language,43, 89–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. McNamara, T. P. (2005).Semantic Priming. UK: Psychology Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Meade, M. L., Watson, J. M., Balota, D. A., & Roediger, H. L., III (2007). The roles of spreading activation and retrieval mode in producing false recognition in the DRM paradigm.Journal of Memory & Language,56, 305–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Miller, M. B., &Wolford, G. L. (1999). The role of criterion shift in false memory.Psychological Review,106, 398–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Neely, J. H. (1977). Semantic priming and retrieval from lexical memory: Roles of inhibitionless spreading activation and limited-capacity attention.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,106, 226–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Neely, J. H. (1989). Experimental dissociations and the episodic/ semantic memory distinction. In H. L. Roediger III & F. I. M. Craik (Eds.).Varieties of memory and consciousness. Essays in honour of Endel Tulving (pp. 229–270). Hillsdale, N. J: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  44. Neely, J. H., Johnson, J. D., Neill, W. T., &Hutchison, K. A. (1999).Is there memory to be found in “false memory?” Paper presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  45. Neely, J. H., Schmidt, S. R., &Roediger, H. L., III (1983). Inhibition from related primes in recognition memory.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,9, 196–211.Google Scholar
  46. Neely, J. H., &Tse, C.-S. (2007). Semantic relatedness effects on true and false memories in episodic recognition: A methodological and empirical review. In J. S. Nairne (Ed.),The foundations of remembering: Essays in honor of Henry L. Roediger III (pp. 315–353). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  47. Nelson, D. L., McEvoy, C. L., & Schreiber, T. A. (1998).The University of South Florida word association, rhyme, and word fragment norms. Scholar
  48. Posner, M. I., &Snyder, C. R. (1975). Facilitation and inhibition in the processing of signals. In P. M. Rabbitt & S. Dornic (Eds.),Attention and performance: Vol. 5 (pp. 669–682). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  49. Rajaram, S., &Neely, J. H. (1992). Dissociative masked repetition priming and word frequency effects in lexical decision and episodic recognition tasks.Journal of Memory & Language,31, 152–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Robinson, K. J., &Roediger, H. L., III (1997). Associative processes in false recall and false recognition.Psychological Science,8, 231–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Roediger, H. L., III,Balota, D. A., &Watson, J. M. (2001a). Spreading activation and the arousal of false memories. In H. L. Roediger, J. S. Nairne, I. Neath, & A. M. Surprenant (Eds.),The nature of remembering: Essays in honor of Robert G. Crowder (pp. 95–115). Washington DC: American Psychological Association Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Roediger, H. L., III, &McDermott, K. B. (1993). Implicit memory in normal human subjects. In F. Boller, & J. Grafman (Eds.),Handbook of neuropsychology (Vol. 8, pp. 63–131). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  53. Roediger, H. L., III, &McDermott, K. B. (1995). Creating false memories: Remembering words not presented in lists.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,21, 803–814.Google Scholar
  54. Roediger, H. L., III,Watson, J. M., McDermott, K. B., &Gallo, D. A. (2001b). Factors that determine false recall: A multiple regression analysis.Psychological Bulletin & Review,8, 385–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Scarborough, D. L., Cortese, C., &Scarborough, H. S. (1977). Frequency and repetition effects in lexical memory.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance,3, 1–17.Google Scholar
  56. Schacter, D. L., Bowers, J., &Booker, J. (1989). Intention, awareness, and implicit memory: The retrieval intentionality criterion. In S. Lewandowsky, J. C. Dunn, & K. Kirsner (Eds.).Implicit memory: Theoretical issues (pp. 47–65). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  57. Schneider, W. (1995).Micro Experimental Laboratory (Version 2.0) [Computer software]. Pittsburgh, PA: Psychology Software Tools.Google Scholar
  58. Stanovich, K. E., &West, R. F. (1979). Mechanisms of sentence context effects in reading: Automatic activation and conscious attention.Memory & Cognition,7, 77–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Stolz, J. A., Besner, D., &Carr, T. H. (2005). Implications of measures of reliability for theories of priming: Activity in semantic memory is inherently noisy and uncoordinated.Visual Cognition,12, 284–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Stolz, J. A., &Neely, J. H. (1995). When target degradation does and does not enhance semantic context effects in word recognition.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,21, 596–611.Google Scholar
  61. Stone, G. O., &Van Orden, G. C. (1992). Resolving empirical inconsistencies concerning priming, frequency, and nonword foils in lexical decision.Language & Speech,35, 295–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Tse, C.-S., &Neely, J. H. (2005). Assessing activation without source monitoring in the DRM false memory paradigm.Journal of Memory & Language,53, 532–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Tussing, A. A., &Greene, R. L. (1999). Differential effects of repetition on true and false recognition.Journal of Memory & Language,40, 520–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Tussing, A. A., &Greene, R. L. (2001). Effects of familiarity level and repetition on recognition accuracy.American Journal of Psychology,114, 31–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Underwood, B. J. (1965). False recognition produced by implicit verbal responses.Journal of Experimental Psychology,70, 122–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Verfaellie, M., Page, K., Orlando, F., &Schacter, D. L. (2005). Impaired implicit memory for gist information in amnesia.Neuropsychology,19, 760–769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wallace, W. P., Malone, C. P., Swiergosz, M. J., &Amberg, M. D. (2000). On the generality of false recognition reversal.Journal of Memory & Language,43, 561–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Weber, E. H. (1948). The sense of touch and common feeling. In W. Dennis (Ed.),Readings in the history of psychology (pp. 155–156). NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts. (Originally published in 1846)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Westerberg, C. E., &Marsolek, C. J. (2003). Discriminability reductions in false recognition: A measure of false memories with stronger theoretical implications.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,29, 747–759.Google Scholar
  70. Westerberg, C. E., &Marsolek, C. J. (2006). Do instructional warnings reduce false recognition?Applied Cognitive Psychology,20, 97–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Whittlesea, B. W. A. (2002). False memory and the discrepancyattribution hypothesis: the prototype-familiarity illusion.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,131, 96–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Winer, B. J. (1971).Statistical principles in experimental design. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  73. Zeelenberg, R., &Pecher, D. (2002). False memories and lexical decision: Even twelve primes do not cause long-term semantic priming.Acta Psychologica,109, 269–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, SS 369University at Albany, State University of New YorAlbany

Personalised recommendations