In two experiments, no evidence for perception without awareness was found in a Stroop-priming task when the threshold for detecting color-word primes was measured reliably by a forced-choice procedure. Color words and color patches were either congruent or incongruent, and no priming occurred when the words were presented at the detection threshold. However, systematic increases in the level of detection for the primes led to correlated increases in the magnitude of priming. The results provide no support for recent claims that priming is a more sensitive indicator of perceptual processing than detection based upon verbal report. A resolution to the apparent discrepancy between the present results and previously reported findings is suggested.
Balota, D. A. (1983). Automatic semantic activation and episodic memory encoding.Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior,22, 88–104.
Bernstein, I. H., &Eriksen, C. W. (1965). Effects of “subliminal” prompting on paired-associate learning.Journal of Experimental Research in Personality,1, 33–38.
Dalrymple-Alford, E. C. (1972). Associative facilitation and interference in the Stroop color-word task.Perception & Psychophysics,11, 274–276.
Dyer, F. N., &Severance, L. J. (1973). Stroop interference with successive presentations of separate incongruent words and colours.Journal of Experimental Psychology,98, 438–439.
Eriksen, C. W. (1960). Discrimination and learning without awareness: A methodological survey and evaluation.Psychological Review,67, 279–300.
Fowler, C. A., Wolford, G., Slade, R., &Tassinary, L. (1981). Lexical access with and without awareness.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,110, 341–362.
Marcel, [A. J.] (1980). Conscious and preconscious recognition of polysemous words: Locating the selective effects of prior verbal con text. In R. S. Nickerson (Ed.),Attention and performance VIII (pp. 435–457). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Marcel, A. J. (1983a). Conscious and unconscious perception: Experiments on visual masking and word recognition.Cognitive Psychology,15, 197–237.
Marcel, A.J. (1983b). Conscious and unconscious perception: An approach to the relations between phenomenal experience and perceptual processes.Cognitive Psychology,15, 238–300.
McCauley, C., Parmelee, C. M., Sperber, R. D., &Carr, T. H. (1980). Early extraction of meaning from pictures and its relation to conscious identification.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance,6, 265–276.
Merikle, P. M. (1982). Unconscious perception revisited.Perception &. Psychophysics,31, 298–301.
Meyer, D. E., Schvaneveldt, R. W., &Ruddy, M. G. (1975). Loci of contextual effects on visual word-recognition. In P. M. A. Rabbitt & S. Domic (Eds.),Attention and performance V (pp. 98–118). New York: Academic Press.
Nolan, K. A., &Caramazza, A. (1982). Unconscious perception of meaning: A failure to replicate.Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society,20, 23–26.
Purcell, D. G., Stewart, A. L., &Stanovich, K. E. (1983). Another look at semantic priming without awareness.Perception & Psychophysics,34, 65–71.
Stroop, J. R. (1935), Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions.Journal of Experimental Psychology,18, 643–661.
This research was supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postgraduate Scholarship to the first author and by Grant APA-231 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to the second author.
About this article
Cite this article
Cheesman, J., Merikle, P.M. Priming with and without awareness. Perception & Psychophysics 36, 387–395 (1984). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03202793
- Stroop Task
- Incongruent Trial
- Color Word
- Naming Latency
- Pattern Mask