- Priming in a free association task as a function of association directionality
- Journal of Memory and Language
- Volume | Issue number
- 27 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Two experiments investigated priming in free association, a conceptual implicit memory task. The stimuli consisted of bidirectionally associated word pairs (e.g., BEACH-SAND) and unidirectionally associated word pairs that have no association from the target response back to the stimulus cue (e.g., BONE- DOG). In the study phase, target words (e.g., SAND, DOG) were presented in an incidental learning task. In the test phase, participants generated an associate to the stimulus cues (e.g., BEACH, BONE). In both experiments, priming was obtained for targets (e.g., SAND) that had an association back to the cue, but not for targets (e.g., DOG) for which such a backward association was absent. These results are problematic for theoretical accounts that attribute priming in free association to the strengthening of target responses. It is argued that priming in free association depends on the strengthening of cue-target associations.
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