Adult age differences in long-term semantic priming.
Young and older adults were first asked to decide if a list of individually presented words were "living" (e.g., "tree") or "nonliving" (e.g., "store"). This was termed the "orienting task." Next, subjects performed a pronunciation task. Semantic priming for young and older adults was indexed by determining if semantic congruence between words in the orienting task and words in the pronunciation task improved performance on the pronunciation task relative to pronounced words from semantic categories not primed in the orienting task. The present data, from two different experiments, revealed that subjects pronounced high-dominance exemplars of the "living" words primed in the orienting task faster than words not primed in the orienting task. These data indicated that semantic priming for relatively long prime-target stimulus onset asynchronies can occur, and that such priming is at least as robust for older adults as for young adults. The results are discussed in terms of four current models of semantic priming.
Allen, PA; Goldstein, B; Madden, DJ; Mitchell, DB
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