Is it a letter? Is it a number? Processing of numbers within SMS shortcuts

Lesya Y. Ganushchak
February 2010
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review;Feb2010, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p101
Academic Journal
For efficiency reasons, words in electronic messages are sometimes formed by combining letters with numbers, as in gr8 for "great." The aim of this study was to investigate whether a digit incorporated into a letter�digit shortcut would retain its numerosity. A priming paradigm was used with letter�digit shortcuts (e.g., gr8) and matched pseudoshortcuts (e.g., qr8) as primes. The primes were presented simultaneously with sets of dots (targets) for which even/odd decisions were required, or they appeared 250 msec before target onset. When pseudoshortcuts were presented, decision latencies were shorter when the target and the digit in the prime were matched in parity than when they were mismatched. This main effect of match was not significant for shortcuts. The results suggest that the number concepts of digits combined with letters become activated but are quickly suppressed or deactivated when the digit is part of an existing shortcut.


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