Using a lexical decision task, the relationship between magnitude of semantic facilitation and degree of prime-target relatedness was examined as a function of amount of attention allocated to the prime and the prime-target interval. In none of the conditions studied did amount of facilitation vary with prime-target relatedness, a finding which was seen as inconsistent with the spread of activation account of the association effect in lexical decision. Both forward (prime to target) and backward (target to prime) associations were effective in producing semantic facilitation. Backward associates, however, were effective only during earlier stages of the experiment and forward associations only during later stages. The implications of these findings for the processes underlying the association effect was discussed.
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This research was carried out while the author was a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Oregon. It was supported by National Science Foundation Grant BNS 76-18907 to Michael Posner.
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Koriat, A. Semantic facilitation in lexical decision as a function of prime-target association. Mem Cogn 9, 587–598 (1981). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03202353
- Lexical Decision
- Lexical Decision Task
- Stroop Task
- Associative Strength
- Test Word