Thorsten Albrecht (2008)

Under the word shower: Massive repetition priming of words and pseudowords

PhD thesis.

Investigated cumulative repetition priming of words and pseudowords presented in a rapid serial visual stream in a series of 6 experiments. A total of 88 college students (14 male, aged 18-41 years) participated in the experiments in which they were required to count forenames occurring in a visually presented word stream of 200 words and pseudowords and then perform lexical decision tasks for words and pseudowords which had or had not previously been seen. The experiments provided clear evidence of cumulative repetition priming, with repetition effects proving greater with increasing presentation frequency. While words consistently showed facilitatory priming, priming was consistently inhibitory for pseudowords. For pseudowords, repetition priming was generally smaller than that found for words. The experiments yielded no evidence of priming differences for pseudowords with different frequencies. In contrast, word frequency effects were obtained when the prime was processed for 250 but not for 80 ms. Results suggest that massive repetition priming does not appear to depend on conscious recollection at test and also demonstrated that priming does not decay even when measured after 7 minutes. The findings of an experiment with delays of 1 day revealed the significance of response learning and also demonstrated a clear dissociation between word and pseudoword repetition priming. In closing, implications of the findings are discussed.