Sequential Effects in Naming: A Time-Criterion Account

Tamsen E. Taylor*, Stephen J. Lupker

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    88 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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