Selective and Nonselective Transfer: Positive and Negative Priming in a Multiple-Task Environment.
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Processing of a probe stimulus can be affected either positively or negatively by presenting a related stimulus immediately before it. According to structural accounts, such effects occur because processing of the prime activates or inhibits the mental representation of the probe before it is presented. In contrast, transfer-appropriate processing accounts suggest that success in processing a probe depends on resources made available by earlier experiences of related stimuli. The authors manipulated the similarity between the prime and probe on color, lexical status, and orthographic structure, requiring either lexical decision or color identification on each. The authors observed a complex pattern of positive and negative transfer that cannot easily be explained through activation-inhibition of mental structures. Instead, that pattern provides evidence in favor of transfer-appropriate processing.
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