Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Janet L. McDonald

Abstract

In three experiments the effect of ease of prime word access on semantic priming was investigated. Ease of prime access was manipulated by prime word frequency, by prime degradation, and by prime repetition. Primes accessed faster (high frequency prime words, repeated primes) should produce larger priming than those accessed more slowly (low frequency prime words, degraded prime words). The time course of priming was also examined by comparing a 150 ms SOA to a 500 ms. The results partially supported the hypothesis. There was a prime word frequency effect on priming in both short and long SOA conditions. High frequency prime words tended to produce greater priming than low frequency prime words regardless of available prime processing time. Slowing or accelerating prime processing speed by degradation and repetition respectively did not have effects on priming. The manipulation of word frequency affects both lexical and semantic processes while manipulations of degradation and repetition affect mainly the lexical process of word recognition. These results suggest that semantic access to prime words, rather than lexical access, has an effect on semantic priming.

ISBN

9780493213828

Pages

140

Share

COinS