The locus of post-lexical semantic matching effects on semantic priming: biasing a binary response or a binary decision?
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Two hundred introductory level students at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and at Iowa State University served as participants. Forty participants each were assigned to each level of the between-subjects manipulation of type of task (standard lexical decision, standard pronunciation, single-response lexical decision, keypress go/no go and pronunciation go/no go). Type of priming (forward, mediated, and backward) served as a within-subjects manipulation;The pattern of priming across tasks failed to support predictions derived from Neely and Keefe's three-process theory (1989), which predicts mediated priming only for pronunciation and backward priming only for lexical decision. The data showed a reliable mediated priming effect for all tasks except pronunciation. Pronunciation did not show a reliable backward priming effect. Reliable forward priming was found for all tasks. The data were inconclusive regarding the locus of the effects of the three processes outlined by Neely and Keefe. Theories of semantic priming need to be reexamined to incorporate these unexpected patterns.