by Dan J. Woltz
Three experiments investigated facilitation in synonym decisions as a function of prior synonym decision trials that were either identical or semantically related. Experiment 1 demonstrated that semantically related prime trials produced less facilitation than identical prime trials, but facilitation from both persisted over 14 intervening trials. Experiments 2 and 3 demonstrated that word meaning retrieval without meaning comparison in prime trials was sufficient for persistent facilitation in semantically related targets, and meaning comparison was necessary for repetition priming to show greater facilitation than semantic priming. Results suggest that semantic priming in this task may solely reflect strength changes in abstract semantic representations, whereas repetition priming may reflect additional nondeclarative memory for operations performed in prime events.
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