Testing Theories of Language Processing: An Empirical Investigation of the On-Line Lexical Decision Task

Gail McKoon*, Roger Ratcliff, Gregory Ward

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

On-line lexical decision has been used to test major theoretical hypotheses about language comprehension. Contrary to several current models. A Sharkey and N. Sharkey (1992) found that a word in a sentence did not give facilitation to an immediately following, highly associated test item. In this article it is shown that such facilitation can be obtained. Other theories have proposed that syntactic processes supply antecedents for implicit anaphors. In using a test item that was an associate of the antecedent of the anaphor, the authors were unable to replicate previous findings of facilitation at but not before the site of the anaphor. Across 9 experiments, obtaining facilitation depended on the choice of control condition. This dependency raises questions about previous on-line lexical decision results that have been used to support the immediacy of syntactic processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1219-1228
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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