Conceptual Organization at 6 and 8 Years of Age: Evidence From the Semantic Priming of Object Decisions

Hashimoto, Naomi; McGregor, Karla K.; Graham, Anne
February 2007
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Feb2007, Vol. 50 Issue 1, p161
Academic Journal
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine children's knowledge of semantic relations. Method: In Experiment 1, the 6-year-olds, 8-year-olds, and adults participated in an object decision task. Participants in the primed group made object decisions in response to primes that were related taxonomically, thematically, or perceptually to the target objects. Those in the unprimed group made decisions about the same stimuli without the benefit of primes. In Experiment 2, the children in the primed group explained the taxonomic and thematic relations between the prime-target pairs used in Experiment 1. Results: In Experiment 1, the strength of semantic relations did not vary with type or age, as taxonomic priming was as strong as thematic priming and the degree of priming did not reliably differentiate the 3 age groups. Differential priming effects between taxonomic and perceptual conditions, the former hastening and the latter slowing responses, suggested that the relation binding object concepts into taxonomies was not reducible to common physical features. In Experiment 2, the 6-year-olds had more difficulty describing taxonomic than thematic relations, whereas the 8-year-olds described both with ease. Conclusions: Contrary to the shift hypothesis, taxonomic and thematic relations-structure concepts in children as young as 6 and into adulthood. In accord with the performance hypothesis, 6-year-olds' representations of taxonomic relations are fragile and vulnerable to high task demands.


Related Articles

  • How to switch on and switch off semantic priming effects for natural and artifactual categories: activation processes in category memory depend on focusing specific feature dimensions. Bermeitinger, Christina; Wentura, Dirk; Frings, Christian // Psychonomic Bulletin & Review;Jun2011, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p579 

    'Semantic priming' refers to the phenomenon that people react faster to target words preceded by semantically related rather than semantically unrelated words. We wondered whether momentary mind sets modulate semantic priming for natural versus artifactual categories. We interspersed a category...

  • Picture Naming: An Investigation of the Nature of Categorical Priming. Lupker, Stephen J. // Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory & Cognition;Jul88, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p444 

    Investigates the effects of a semantic category relation between prime and target in a picture-naming task. Semantic category membership; Anticipated category priming effects; Nature and locus of the categorical priming effect; Processing within semantic memory.

  • Repeated Masked Category Primes Interfere With Related Exemplars: New Evidence for Negative Semantic Priming. Wentura, Dirk; Frings, Christian // Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory & Cognition;Jan2005, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p108 

    In 4 experiments, the authors found evidence for negatively signed masked semantic priming effects (with category names as primes and exemplars as targets) using a new technique of presenting the masked primes. By rapidly interchanging prime and mask during the stimulus onset asynchrony, they...

  • More is not always better: paradoxical effects of repetition on semantic accessibility. Kuhl, Brice; Anderson, Michael // Psychonomic Bulletin & Review;Oct2011, Vol. 18 Issue 5, p964 

    Repetition normally enhances memory. While in some cases the benefit of added repetition may be incremental, few would expect that massed repetition could actually reverse the benefits of brief repetition. Here we report two experiments that document a clear example of a paradoxical effect of...

  • Repetition priming mediated by task similarity in semantic classification. Xiong, Maggie J.; Franks, Jeffery J.; Logan, Gordon D. // Memory & Cognition;Oct2003, Vol. 31 Issue 7, p1009 

    In the present study, the specificity of repetition priming between semantic classification tasks was examined using Osgood's (Osgood, Suci, & Tannenbaum, 1957) semantic space as a heuristic for determining the similarity between classifications. The classification tasks involved judging the...

  • Associative priming in faces: Semantic relatedness or simple co-occurrence? Vladeanu, MateI; Lewis, Michael; Ellis, Hadyn // Memory & Cognition;Jul2006, Vol. 34 Issue 5, p1091 

    In two experiments, we explored the effects of co-occurrence and semantic relationships in the associative pruning of faces. In Experiment 1, pairs of computer-generated human faces were presented simultaneously (i.e., they co-occurred) with no associated semantic information attached to them. A...

  • TIMELINE: What's new with the amnesic patient H.M.? Corkin, Suzanne // Nature Reviews Neuroscience;Feb2002, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p153 

    H.M. became amnesic in 1953. Since that time, nearly 100 investigators, first at the Montreal Neurological Institute and since 1966 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have participated in studying him. We all understand the rare opportunity we have had to work with him, and we are...

  • Conceptual versus Perceptual Priming in Incomplete Picture Identification. Matsukawa, Junko; Snodgrass, Joan Gay; Doniger, Glen M. // Journal of Psycholinguistic Research;Nov2005, Vol. 34 Issue 6, p515 

    This paper examined conceptual versus perceptual priming in identification of incomplete pictures by using a short-term priming paradigm, in which information that may be useful in identifying a fragmented target is presented just prior to the target’s presentation. The target was a...

  • Mechanisms of Unconscious Priming: I. Response Competition, Not Spreading Activation. Klinger, Mark R.; Burton, Philip C. // Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory & Cognition;Mar2000, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p441 

    Presents experiments to replicate and expand upon A.G. Greenwald, S.C. Draine and R.L. Abrams' demonstration that unconsciously perceived priming words can influence judgments of other words. Manipulation of relationships between priming and target stimuli; Results supporting the conclusion...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics