The Pros and Cons of Masked Priming

Kenneth I. Forster*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

223 Citations (Scopus)


Masked priming paradigms offer the promise of tapping automatic, strategy-free lexical processing, as evidenced by the lack of expectancy disconfirmation effects, and proportionality effects in semantic priming experiments. But several recent findings suggest the effects may be prelexical. These findings concern nonword priming effects in lexical decision and naming, the effects of mixed-case presentation on nonword priming, and the dependence of priming on the nature of the distractors in lexical decision, suggesting possible strategy effects. The theory underlying each of these effects is discussed, and alternative explanations are developed that do not preclude a lexical basis for masked priming effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-233
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes


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