One of the key assumptions of the masked priming lexical decision task (LDT) is that primes are processed without requiring attentional resources. Here, we tested this assumption by presenting a dual-task manipulation to increase memory load and measure the change in masked identity priming on the targets in the LDT. If masked priming does not require attentional resources, increased memory load should have no influence on the magnitude of the observed identity priming effects. We conducted two LDT experiments, using a within-subjects design, to investigate the effect of memory load (via a concurrent matching task Experiment 1 and a concurrent search task in Experiment 2) on masked identity priming. Results showed that the magnitude of masked identity priming on word targets was remarkably similar under high and low memory load. Thus, these experiments provide empirical evidence for the automaticity assumption of masked identity priming in the LDT.
Memory & Cognition – Springer Journals
Published: May 29, 2018
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