When Perception Trumps Reality: Perceived, not Objective, Meaning of Primes Drive Stroop Priming
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Is semantic priming driven by the objective or perceived meaning of the priming stimulus? This question is relevant as many studies suggest that the objective meaning of invisible stimuli can influence cognitive processes and behavior. In an experiment involving 66 participants, we tested whether the perceived meaning of misperceived stimuli may influence response times. Stroop priming, i.e., longer response times for incongruent versus congruent prime–target pairs, was observed in trials in which the prime was correctly identified. However, reversed Stroop priming was observed when the prime stimulus was incorrectly identified. Even in trials in which participants reported “no” prime percept and identified the primes at close to chance level (i.e., fulfilling both a subjective and objective definition of “subliminal”), Stroop priming corresponded to perceived, not objective, congruency. Under conditions traditionally claimed to be “subliminal,” this allows occasional weak percepts and mispercepts to be intermixed with no percepts.
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132208OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-132208DiVA: diva2:950583
FunderLars Hierta Memorial Foundation, FO2015-0940