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Priming in deduction: A spatial arrangement task

Abstract

The mental model theory assumes that people reason by manipulating mental representations of states of the world, called “mental models.” In the present study we used a new deduction task based on diagrammatic premises. We show that a premise can prime other premises that induce similar mental models in a way analogous to the case of words with related meanings, which can prime one another. We present three experiments. In Experiment 1 we used an evaluation task. In Experiment 2, a construction task was used. The priming effect was obtained in both cases. In a third experiment we show that the priming effect was still present when participants were instructed to ignore a prime displayed before the premises. In all three experiments we compared determinate and indeterminate problems and found faster responses in the former.

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Correspondence to Sergio Moreno-Ríos.

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This research was supported by grants from the Spanish government (PB94-0394).

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Moreno-Ríos, S., García-Madruga, J.A. Priming in deduction: A spatial arrangement task. Memory & Cognition 30, 1118–1127 (2002). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03194329

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Keywords

  • Priming Effect
  • Mental Model
  • Visual Word Recognition
  • Spatial Arrangement Task
  • Determinate Problem