This article applies to:
Experiment Author: Adapted from STEP and used with permission of Brian MacWhinney
Participants were given two strings of letters, which could each be a word or a nonword. They were faster to say that both were words when the words were related to each other.
This experiment examines reaction times in distinguishing words from non-words. Participants will press the spacebar when they are ready for each trial. A pair of letter-strings will appear. The two letter-strings may or may not be words. Decide as quickly as possible, without making errors, if both letter-strings are words or not. Press the 'z' key if both letter-strings are words. Press the 'x' key if one or both letter-strings are not words.
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.
Cited Experiment Abstract
Two experiments are reported in which Ss were presented two strings of letters simultaneously, with one string displayed visually above the other. In Exp. 1, Ss responded "yes" if both strings were words, otherwise responding "no." In Exp. II, Ss responded "same" if the two strings were either both words or both nonwords, otherwise responding "different." "Yes" responses and "same" responses were faster for pairs of commonly associated words than for pairs of unassociated words. "Same" responses were slowest for pairs of nonwords. "No" responses were faster when the top string in the display was a nonword, whereas "different" responses were faster when the top string was a word. The results of both experiments support a retrieval model involving a dependence between separate successive decisions about whether each of the two strings is a word. Possible mechanisms that underlie this dependence are discussed.
Works Cited by the Experiment
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Collins, A.M., & Quillian, M.R. Facillitationg retrieval from semantic memory: The effect of repeating part of an intference. In A.F. Sanders (Ed.), Attention and performance III. Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company, 1970.
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Meyer, D.E. Dual memory-search of related and unrelated semantic categories. Paper presented at the meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, New York, April 1971.
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