The number of associative neighbors (ANs) of a word has been found to modulate the associative priming effect (Cañas & Bajo, 1994). Pilot studies have shown mat mis influence might be dependent on verbal ability. This possibility was examined by comparing the influence of a prime's ANs on the priming effect in students with high and low verbal ability, using a lexical decision task. Participants with high verbal ability showed a priming effect regardless of ANs. In contrast, low-verbal-ability students showed a significant influence of ANs upon the priming effect, which was demonstrated in responding to related targets. In particular, the lexical decisions to targets that were preceded by primes with a large number of ANs were slower. The effects were not modulated by stimulus onset asynchrony. The results are discussed in relation to automatic and strategic mechanisms of word processing. These findings have important implications for studies in the field of word recognition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)