Examination of the cognitive mechanisms underlying evaluative and semantic priming effects by varying task instructions: An ERP study

Jennifer Hilda Taylor, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

This study examined the cognitive processes that underlie stimulus identification and the activation of attitudes by investigating behavioral and psychophysiological effects in a priming paradigm. Cognitive mechanisms were investigated by examining evaluative and semantic priming effects on behavioral response times, the N400, and LPP event-related potential (ERP) components by varying tasks between-subjects. Participants either completed an evaluative task, a semantic task, or a feature-detection task. It was hypothesized that the behavioral evaluative priming effect would occur in the evaluative task and that the behavioral semantic priming effect would occur in the semantic and feature-detection tasks. The N400 was hypothesized to be sensitive only to the semantic priming effect while the LPP was expected to be sensitive to only the evaluative priming effect. Results indicated that the behavioral evaluative priming effect occurred during both the evaluative and semantic tasks, whereas the behavioral semantic priming effect occurred only during the semantic task. The LPP was elicited by evaluative incongruities in the evaluative task and by semantic incongruities in the semantic and feature-detection tasks. The behavioral and ERP findings may suggest that different cognitive mechanisms underlie evaluative and semantic priming effects, which would indicate different cognitive processes occur when a stimulus is identified compared to when an evaluative association for the stimulus is activated.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Psychology, Experimental|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Taylor, Jennifer Hilda, "Examination of the cognitive mechanisms underlying evaluative and semantic priming effects by varying task instructions: An ERP study" (2010). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3426871.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI3426871

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