Sequential Effects in Naming

A Time-Criterion Account

Tamsen E. Taylor*, Stephen J. Lupker

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    83 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)117-138
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2001

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