S. J. Lupker, P. Brown, and L. Colombo (1997) reported that target naming latencies are strongly affected by the difficulty of the other stimuli in a trial block, an effect they attributed to readers' strategic use of a time criterion to guide responding. In the present research, the authors asked whether there are also trial-by-trial ("sequential") effects by examining naming latency as a function of the difficulty of the preceding stimulus. In Experiment 1, both nonwords and high-frequency regular words were named more rapidly following a word than a nonword. Experiments 2, 3, and 4 were parallel experiments involving a variety of stimulus types (e.g., high- and low-frequency inconsistent words, easy and hard nonwords). In all cases, similar sequential effects were observed (i.e., all stimulus types had shorter latencies following an easier-to-name than a harder-to-name stimulus). In terms of the time-criterion account, criterion placement appears to be affected by the relative difficulty of the preceding stimulus in a way that is independent of stimulus type.
|Number of pages||22|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2001|