Ambiguity and Synonymy Effects in Lexical Decision, Naming, and Semantic Categorization Tasks

Interactions between Orthography, Phonology, and Semantics

Yasushi Hino*, Stephen J. Lupker, Penny M. Pexman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

97 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article, ambiguity and synonymy effects were examined in lexical decision, naming, and semantic categorization tasks. Whereas the typical ambiguity advantage was observed in lexical decision and naming, an ambiguity disadvantage was observed in semantic categorization. In addition, a synonymy effect (slower latencies for words with many synonyms than for words with few synonyms) was observed in lexical decision and naming but not in semantic categorization. These results suggest that (a) an ambiguity disadvantage arises only when a task requires semantic processing, (b) the ambiguity advantage and the synonymy disadvantage in lexical decision and naming are due to semantic feedback, and (c) these effects are determined by the nature of the feedback relationships from semantics to orthography and phonology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-713
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2002

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