Retrieval Dynamics of Priming in Recognition Memory: Bias and Discrimination Analysis

Barbara Anne Dosher, Brian McElree, R. Mark Hood, Glenda Rosedale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated semantic priming effects on item recognition from short (8-word) lists in one reaction-time and three interruption speed-accuracy trade-off (SAT) experiments. SAT priming conditions included modest (0.35-s) prime durations; prime as a final list member; and long (1.5-s) prime durations with special instructions. Analyses tested for constant increment (bias) priming (an equivalent increase in both hits and false alarms) and enhanced discrimination priming (differential priming for targets and lures). Constant increment (bias) priming was ubiquitous, but some subjects showed enhanced early discrimination in restricted conditions. In constant increment (bias) priming, the semantic relations between prime and test either additively increase familiarity or lower criterion. Only enhanced discrimination must imply an interaction between the prime and the retrieval process, due to either interaction or use of compound cues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)868-886
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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