Date of Award

12-16-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Buchanan, Lori

Keywords

psycholinguistics, semantics

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

According to data from three tasks, Danguecan & Buchanan (2014) demonstrated that semantic neighbourhood density (SND; Buchanan, Westbury, & Burgess, 2001) interacts with concreteness to influence visual word recognition response times (RTs). Importantly, these data suggest that the behavioural effects of these semantic variables are differentially impacted by task demands. The goal of the present study was to more precisely chart the flexibility of semantic processing by comparing recognition RTs of words (varying in concreteness and SND) across seven tasks with different explicit semantic requirements. The data show that linguistic associative information is particularly critical for abstract as compared to concrete concepts. These findings are discussed within the context of a new model of semantic processing, known as the Flexible Semantic Processing Hypothesis.

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