Class of 2003
University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 Canada
Phone:(519) 888-4567 x.6866
|visual word recognition||skilled reading|
Thesis -Semanfic Priming: A Role for Awareness in the Absence of an Expectancy
Given considerable evidence supporting the claim that visual word recognition can occur without awareness, this thesis explores HOW words perceived without awareness influence performance. It is well documented that semantic context and stimulus quality jointly affect the time to identify words. Specifically, context effects are larger when words are degraded than when they are clear. However, this interaction is modulated by relatedness proportion (i.e., the proportion of word targets preceded by a related prime [RP]). When RP is high (.50) the standard interaction is observed. However, when RP is low (.25), context and stimulus quality are additive factors. The present reasearch illustrates that a high RP is not sufficient to produce the interaction; awareness of high RP appears necessary to do so. That is, if a participant is not aware that RP is high, then context and stimulus quality will be additive factors, despite the fact that RP is high. These results are discussed in terms of a two-stage model of visual word recognition that posits a feedback loop from the second stage (semantics) to the first stage (the lexical stage). It is agued here that the operation of this feedback loop depends on the participant's awareness of RP. When the feedback loop is operational, the standard context by stimulus quality interaction is observed. Conversely, when the feedback loop is not operating, context and stimulus quality are additive factors.
I hope to continue to explore the ways in which words perceived without awareness influence performance. I also plan to examine if (and how) within-subjects experimental designs can bias responses by making participants susceptible to range effects.
Last Modified: February 04 2002 11:26:34.