Semantic priming goes both ways: Semantic content of subsequent target stimuli interferes with the discrimination of preceding priming stimuli
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Claims of subliminal semantic processing are commonly supported by experiments using stimuli that participants cannot discriminate between and therefore, it is said, cannot perceive. Critical to this operationalization of lack of perception is that discrimination performance is measured under optimal conditions and is not impaired by factors unrelated to perception. Here we report that in the standard paradigm of subliminal processing, prime-stimulus discrimination was underestimated due to the semantic content of the subsequent target stimulus: Just as the prime stimuli interfered with target-discrimination responses (leading to slower reaction times and more errors), the semantic content of target stimuli interfered with participants’ prime-discrimination performance. This is a hitherto neglected factor that may interfere with participants’ ability to report fleeting percepts of the prime stimuli, leading to underestimation of perception and potentially to false support of subliminal semantic processing.
Subliminal priming, Visual masking, Consciousness, Awareness, Unconscious processing, Semantic priming
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132207OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-132207DiVA: diva2:950580
FunderLars Hierta Memorial Foundation, FO2015-0940