Is semantic activation from print capacity limited? Evidence from the psychological refractory period paradigm
A widely accepted belief across a range of subfields in psychology is that print activates semantics “automatically” in some sense. One such sense is that activating semantics does not require capacity. This view is assessed here in the context of the Psychological Refractory Period (PRP) paradigm because it provides a way of determining whether semantic activation requires a form of capacity. Task 1 was tone classification. Task 2 was Stroop color naming. The distractors consisted of color words on some trials (e.g., BLUE), and semantic associates on others (e.g., TOMATO). Both types of distractors yielded a pattern of data inconsistent with the widespread view that semantic activation is capacity free.
KeywordsSemantic Activation Automaticity Stroop Psychological refractory period
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