Priming of Semantic Classifications: Late and Response Related, or Earlier and More Central?

By Klauer, Karl Christoph; Musch, Jochen et al. | Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, October 2005 | Go to article overview

Priming of Semantic Classifications: Late and Response Related, or Earlier and More Central?


Klauer, Karl Christoph, Musch, Jochen, Eder, Andreas B., Psychonomic Bulletin & Review


Priming of semantic classifications may occur because of response-related priming or because of priming at a more central locus. To separate these two possibilities, we randomly intermixed adjectives and first names, using a response window procedure. Participants decided whether the adjectives were positively or negatively valenced and whether the names were male or female. Each of these kinds of targets was preceded by adjective or name primes associated with responses that either matched or mismatched the correct response to the target. Results showed that priming of semantic classification involves two components: a major response-related one, modulated by prime visibility and prime-target repetition, and a smaller component with a more central locus that is less susceptible to context effects.

The classification of a target word is affected by the category of an immediately preceding prime word. For example, in affective priming (Klauer & Musch, 2003), target words are to be classified as either evaluatively positive or negative in the so-called evaluative decision task. Evaluative decisions are faster and more accurate for target words preceded by evaluatively congruent prime words (e.g., luck-sunshine) than for target words preceded by evaluatively incongruent prime words (e.g., angersunshine). We will use the general term classification priming for priming effects in semantic classification tasks that arise as a consequence of the prime and the target being members of the same response category (congruent prime-target pairs) versus different response categories (incongruent prime-target pairs).

Classification priming can reflect facilitation and/or inhibition at the response selection stage, at the stage of categorizing targets, or during encoding or lexical access for targets. For example, according to Kunde, Kiesel, and Hoffmann (2003), participants specify so-called action triggers in elaborating the task instructions and as a consequence of practice in the classification task. These action triggers are templates against which target stimuli are matched perceptually. In the case of a match, the response belonging to the matching action trigger is released. Primes have the power to bias responses if they match one of the action triggers perceptually. This account is consistent with the idea that the prime and the target are processed independently up to a response selection stage at which prime-derived and target-derived response implications interact.

Furthermore, a large literature on semantic priming suggests that prime words can facilitate encoding or lexical access for semantically related targets, including categorically related targets. A third possibility is that primederived and target-derived bits of information interact at the stage of categorizing the target in one of the response categories. Specifically, a prime word might activate the mental representation of its task-relevant category (e.g., the category positive in the evaluative decision task), thereby facilitating the categorization of congruent targets as exemplars of this same category or hindering the categorization of incongruent targets as exemplars of the other category (e.g., the category negative). We will refer to priming effects reflecting facilitation and/or inhibition of encoding, lexical access, or categorization for targets as central priming.

The purpose of the present study was to tease apart the relative contributions of response-related and central priming effects through the use of a modified priming task. We mixed two semantic classification tasks in random sequence: a gender decision task, in which the gender (male or female) of common first names had to be determined, and the above-described evaluative decision task applied to evaluatively polarized adjectives. The kind of target (first name vs. adjective) signaled which task was to be performed on any given trial. The same response keys were used for both tasks. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Priming of Semantic Classifications: Late and Response Related, or Earlier and More Central?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.