Specific word transfer as a measure of processing in the word-superiority paradigm
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Explanations of context effects in the Reicher-Wheeler task and the letter-identification task appeal to word-based processing, yet these tasks provide no explicit measure of word processing. An experiment is reported which was designed to investigate the use of transfer in the word-identification task as a measure of word-based processing in letter-identification tasks. It was found that encoding manipulations that determined whether a word-superiority effect was or was not found in a letter-identification task (e.g., Thompson & Massaro, 1973) also determined whether transfer was or was not found in a subsequent word-identification task. The results of the experiment are discussed in terms of the utility of using transfer experiments as converging evidence about the presence and/or absence of processes that cannot be directly measured in other experimental paradigms.
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