Lexical access with and without awareness Academic Article uri icon


  • Examines some potential artifacts of design or execution of studies implying that central pattern masking may prevent awareness of perceptual products. Ss were 84 undergraduates. Three studies examined Ss' judgments of certain properties of masked words. Exps I and II replicated A. Marcel and K. Patterson's (1978) studies in demonstrating better-than-chance judgments about semantic properties of a word at target-mask intervals at which detection judgments and judgments of physical properties are at or near chance. However, a control "nonexperiment" in which no words are presented before the mask yielded a similar outcome. Exp IV examined the relative semantic relatedness, as assessed by naive judges, of masked-target/response pairs of randomly associated words and responses and of the type obtained by A. Allport (1977). Judges did not distinguish the 2 kinds of word pairs. Despite these negative findings, a final pair of experiments replicated Marcel's demonstration that masked words, no less than unmasked words, facilitate lexical decisions concerning subsequently presented semantically related words. Graphic and phonetic priming under mask and nomask conditions were also obtained. (37 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1981 American Psychological Association.

author list (cited authors)

  • Fowler, C. A., Wolford, G., Slade, R., & Tassinary, L.

citation count

  • 313

publication date

  • January 1981