Title

The effect of semantic distance in yes/no and go/no-go semantic categorization tasks

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2003

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The effect of semantic distance (Lund & Burgess, 1996) was examined in three semantic categorization experiments. Experiment 1, a yes/no task that required participants to make animal/nonanimal judgments by responding to both sets of stimuli (Forster & Shen, 1996), revealed no effect of semantic distance. Experiment 2, a go/no-go task that required participants to respond to only the experimental (i.e., nonanimal) items, revealed a large effect of semantic distance. In addition, response latencies were longer and error rates were lower to the experimental items in Experiment 2 than to those in Experiment 1. These findings were replicated in Experiment 3, in which semantic distance and task condition were manipulated within subjects. We conclude that these results are consistent with (1) the view that the go/no-go tasks elicited more extensive processing of the experimental items and (2) a connectionist account of semantic activation, whereby processing is facilitated by the presence of semantic neighbors.

Publication Title

MEMORY & COGNITION

Volume

31

Issue

1

First Page

100

Last Page

113