Demonstrating semantic priming without using primes
Martin, Randi C.
Master of Arts
Whether priming can occur in the absence of prime identification is a long debated question. The standard priming paradigm used to explore the issue has been criticized on methodological grounds. The present study introduces a new paradigm, in which there is no prime per se, only targets. Both words in a pair were presented for every-increasing durations until one was identified. Experiments 1 through 6 demonstrated highly reliable priming when the words were presented with no delay between them and when a mask of from 33 ms to 500 ms intervened between them. However, the priming effect declined as the delay increased and was non-significant at a full second. Results from Experiment 7 showed no effect of the proportion of related words on the size of the priming effect. However, an analysis of errors indicated that partial identification may play a role in the priming effect with this paradigm.
Linguistics; Cognitive therapy; Psychology; Language, literature and linguistics