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Publication - Professor Colin Davis

    A behavioral database for masked form priming


    Davis, CJ, Adelman, J, Johnson, RL, McCormick, SF, McKague, M, Kinoshita, S, Bowers, JS, Perry, JR, Lupker, SJ, Forster, KL, Cortese, MJ, Scaltritti, M, Aschenbrenner, AJ, Coane, JH, White, L, Yap, MJ, Davis, C & Kim, J, 2014, ‘A behavioral database for masked form priming’. Behavior Research Methods, vol 46., pp. 1052-1067


    Reading involves a process of matching an orthographic input with stored representations in lexical memory. The masked priming paradigm has become a standard tool for investigating this process. Use of existing results from this paradigm can be limited by the precision of the data and the need for cross-experiment comparisons that lack normal experimental controls. Here, we present a single, large, high-precision, multicondition experiment to address these problems. Over 1,000 participants from 14 sites responded to 840 trials involving 28 different types of orthographically related primes (e.g., castfe–CASTLE) in a lexical decision task, as well as completing measures of spelling and vocabulary. The data were indeed highly sensitive to differences between conditions: After correction for multiple comparisons, prime type condition differences of 2.90 ms and above reached significance at the 5% level. This article presents the method of data collection and preliminary findings from these data, which included replications of the most widely agreed-upon differences between prime types, further evidence for systematic individual differences in susceptibility to priming, and new evidence regarding lexical properties associated with a target word’s susceptibility to priming. These analyses will form a basis for the use of these data in quantitative model fitting and evaluation and for future exploration of these data that will inform and motivate new experiments.

    Full details in the University publications repository