To observe the course of the development of automatic processes in word recognition, two experiments were performed in which a distracting word interacted with a target stimulus. In Expt 1 the subjects named a simple line drawing, and in Expt 2 they named a word appearing in a rectangle. The distracting word (i) was a semantic associate of the target stimulus, (ii) was graphemically similar to the name of the target, (iii) was phonemically similar to the name of the target, (iv) was unrelated in meaning, orthography and phonology, or (v) was replaced with an unpronounceable letter string. Three groups of subjects were tested. Skilled adult readers were compared with two groups of children. Matched groups of children were used, with similar ages (9–12 years old) and non‐verbal spatial abilities, but dissimilar reading ages. All groups of subjects showed semantic interference and graphemic priming from the distractor word in Expt 1, and the children showed phonemic priming. In Expt 2, only the poor readers showed semantic interference, and no groups showed graphemic or phonemic effects.
British Journal of Psychology – Wiley
Published: May 1, 1984
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