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The facilitation effect of associative and semantic relatedness in word recognition

Author(s): Jakić Milena | Filipović-Đurđević Dušica | Kostić Aleksandar

Journal: Psihologija
ISSN 0048-5705

Volume: 44;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 367;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: associative priming | semantic priming | lexical relations | lexical decision task | componential analysis

In this study we addressed three issues concerning semantic and associative relatedness between two words and how they prime each other. The first issue is whether there is a priming effect of semantic relatedness over and above the effect of associative relatedness. The second issue is how difference in semantic overlap between two words affects priming. In order to specify the semantic overlap we introduce five relation types that differ in number of common semantic components. Three relation types (synonyms, antonyms and hyponyms) represent semantic relatedness while two relation types represent associative relatedness, with negligible or no semantic relatedness. Finally, the third issue addressed in this study is whether there is a symmetric priming effect if we swap the position of prime and target, i.e. whether the direction of relatedness between two words affects priming. In two lexical decision experiments we presented five types of word pairs. In both experiments we obtained stronger facilitation for pairs that were both semantically and associatively related. Closer inspection showed that larger semantic overlap between words is paralleled by greater facilitation effect. The effects did not change when prime and target swap their position, indicating that the observed facilitation effects are symmetrical. This outcome complies with predictions of distributed models of memory.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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