University of Arizona
Psyc 542 Lexical Systems

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Suggested Projects

As the semester progresses, possible projects will be added to this page. These will often deal with issues that have become (or are about to become) hot topics in the literature. As you will see, many (if not all) projects involve masked priming (a speciality of our lab). Click here for a brief discussion and a demonstration of masked priming.

1. Form-priming and stem completion

In lexical decision, responses to a word such as mature are normally faster when preceded by a one-letter-different (1-LD) masked prime, regardless of whether that prime is a word (e.g., nature) or a nonword (e.g., pature). However, when the task is stem completion ( e.g., "write down the first word you think of when you see MAT----"), the number of times that mature is given as a response is increased when the masked prime nature is presented, but apparently not when the nonword pature is presented. This finding needs to be replicated.

2. Relative frequency and form-priming

Segui and Grainger (19xx) and also Davis and Lupker (in press) have reported inhibitory effects when a masked form-prime was higher in frequency than the target (e.g., able-AXLE). This is strong evidence in support of a competitive mechanism in lexical access. We need to investigate whether this is really the case, especially for longer words (e.g., headline-DEADLINE).