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Experiment Author: Adapted from STEP (student submissions to Research Methods class) and used with permission of Brian MacWhinney
Two letter strings are presented in sequence. Participants press '1' if both stimuli are foods, and '2' otherwise. Responses are made with either the keyboard or mouse buttons. A total of 20 trials are presented in random order.
Investigates whether seeing associated or non-associated words will improve categorization of both.
Cited Experiment Abstract
The effect of priming on lexical decision-making was investigated. Forty college students (20 men and 20 women) were separated by weight and presented with sixteen different word pairings. The pairings were based upon four commonly known lexical associations; three uncommon alternative pairs were introduced for each pair, as well. Reaction times to the cues varied between the four possible types of combination, with the commonly primed target yielding the smallest – as predicted by prior research. Variety amongst the other three pairs suggests different degrees of impediment, possibly based upon the degree of confounding presented by a false target. Blatantly false targets yielded lower reaction times than targets which more closely resembled the true target.
Works cited by the study
Meyer, D. E., & Schvaneveldt, R. W. (1971). Facilitation in recognizing pairs of words: Evidence of a dependence between retrieval operations. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 90, 227-234.
Neely, J. H. (1976). Semantic priming and retrieval from lexical memory: Evidence for facilitory and inhibitory processes. Memory & Cognition, 4, 649-654.
Pecher, D., Zeelenberg, R., & Raaijmakers, J. G. W. (2002). Associative priming in a masked perceptual identification task: Evidence for automatic processes. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55A(4), 1157-1173.
Lexical Decision Task 
STEP: Cross Lexical Decision 
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