Psychology of language assignment
The following article reports the results of two experiments investigating
lexical access in real- time using the cross-modal priming task:
Onifer, W., & Swinney, D. (1981). Accessing lexical ambiguities
during sentence comprehension: Effects of frequency of meaning
and contextual bias. Memory & Cognition, 9(3), 225-236.
1) Answer the following five (5) questions. Make sure to answer all
parts of each question. Read each question carefully. Please answer
each question separately and number each question. There are points
assigned for each question and if we cannot figure out which question
you are answering, we won’t be able to assign you points for that
question. Please do not answer the entire assignment in essay
format but in complete sentences (no bullet points).
2) Use your own words! No quotes from the article are permitted
(however, it is inevitably expected that there would be overlap in
terms of vocabulary).
3) The word limit for the whole assignment is 1000 words. Aim for 200
words or so per question. Longer assignments may be penalized.
Please write the number of words on your assignment.
1) Experiment 1: Experimental design [4 points]
• Using an example from the appendix, explain what a trial would have
looked like in Experiment
• Describe a trial for the primary meaning and its control as well as a
trial for the secondary meaning and its control. Explain why the
controls were included.
2) Experiment 2: Experimental design [4 points]
• Explain what is different in the experimental design for Experiment 2
• What was the purpose in running Experiment 2?
3) Results: Experiment 1 vs Experiment 2 [4 points]
• Compare the results of Experiments 1 and 2
• What are the differences and similarities between the findings of the
4) Theoretical Implications [4 points]
• Do the results suggest that we use top-down or bottom-up
information in lexical access? Explain your answer
• may refer to the Swinney (1979) study if you wish.
5) Using an alternative experimental method [4 points]
• Imagine you wanted to run these experiments using the visual world
eye-tracking paradigm, instead of cross-modal priming.
• Describe what a critical trial would look like in your hypothetical
• Use an example from the appendix
• What would be the predictions of this experiment?
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