Repetition proportion biases masked priming of lexical decisions

Abstract

Although subjects have little or no awareness of masked primes, Bodner and Masson (2001) found that priming of lexical decisions is often enhanced when masked repetition primes occur on a high proportion of trials. We used baseline prime conditions to specify the locus of this repetition proportion (RP) effect. In Experiments 1A and 1B, a .8-RP group showed more priming than did a .2-RP group, and this RP effect was due to both (1) increased facilitation from repetition primes and (2) increased interference from unrelated primes. In Experiment 2, we used the baseline condition to show that subjects are sensitive to RP rather than to the proportion of unrelated primes. Direct comparisons of a given prime condition (repetition, unrelated) across RP conditions were more stable than were comparisons relative to the baseline condition. The increased costs and benefits of repetition priming when RP is higher implicate a context-sensitive mechanism that constrains accounts of masked priming.

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Correspondence to Glen E. Bodner.

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The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada supported this research through Discovery Grants to G.E.B. and M.E.J.M. and through two Undergraduate Student Research Awards to N.T.R.

Note—This article was accepted by the previous editorial team, when Colin M. MacLeod was Editor.

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Bodner, G.E., Masson, M.E.J. & Richard, N.T. Repetition proportion biases masked priming of lexical decisions. Memory & Cognition 34, 1298–1311 (2006). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03193273

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Keywords

  • Stimulus Onset Asynchrony
  • Lexical Decision
  • Semantic Priming
  • Lexical Entry
  • Baseline Method