Context-specific control and the Stroop negative priming effect
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The present study highlights the utility of context-specific learning for different probe types in accounting for the commonly observed dependence of negative priming on probe selection. Using a Stroop priming procedure, Experiments 1a and 1b offered a demonstration that Stroop priming effects can differ qualitatively for selection and no-selection probes when probe selection is manipulated between subjects, but not when it is manipulated randomly from trial to trial within subject (see also Moore, 1994). In Experiments 2 and 3, selection and no-selection probes served as two contexts that varied randomly from trial to trial, but for which proportion repeated was manipulated separately. A context-specific proportion repeated effect was observed in Experiment 2, characterized by modest quantitative shifts in the repetition effects as a function of the context-specific proportion repeated manipulation. However, with a longer intertrial interval in Experiment 3, a context-specific proportion repeated manipulation that focused on the no-selection probes changed the repetition effect qualitatively, from negative priming when the proportion repeated was .25 to positive priming when the proportion repeated was .75. The results are discussed with reference to the role of rapid, context-specific learning processes in the integration of prior experiences with current perception and action.
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