How semantic is automatic semantic priming?

. ournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 18 (6): 1191-1210 (1992)


Priming for semantically related concepts was investigated using a lexical decision task designed to reveal automatic semantic priming. Two experiments provided further evidence that priming in a single presentation lexical decision task (T. P. McNamara and J. Altarriba, 1988) derives from automatic processes. Mediated priming, but not inhibition or backward priming, was found in this type of lexical decision task. Exps 3 and 4 demonstrate that automatic priming was found only for associated word pairs, as determined by word association norms, and not for word pairs that are semantically related but not associated. It is argued that automatic priming in the lexical decision task occurs at a lexical level but not at a semantic level. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)

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