Interference and facilitation effects of primes upon verification processes

Jerome L. Myers, Robert F. Lorch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Priming effects on sentence verification were investigated. The semantic relation of the prime and the probe, and the interval between prime and probe presentation (SOA), were varied for both ambiguous and unambiguous sentences. Reaction time to decide that a sentence was true or false was longer if the preceding prime was a word that was unrelated to the probe than if the prime was the word "blank." In contradiction of Posner and Snyder's (1975) claim that conscious processes develop slowly, this result was found at SOAs as short as 250 msec. Verification performance was facilitated for both sentence types when the prime word was the first of the to-be-presented probe sentence, but the magnitude of the facilitation effects depended upon the truth value of the probe, the associative strength of the subject and predicate of the probe sentence, and upon SOA. These findings indicate that priming affects the processing of relations among concepts in semantic memory, as well as the encoding of the probe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-414
Number of pages10
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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