Semantic competition as a source of interference in a colour-word matching task

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Walsh, Andrew Robert Francis
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University of Guelph
Abstract

A matching task was used to investigate the role of semantic processing as a source of interference by an irrelevant stimulus dimension. Participants judged whether two words were identical in either name (word matching) or colour (colour matching). Long decision times occurred for the word match task when the words were the same but the colours were different (e.g., RED printed in 'blue' matched to RED printed in 'red '). In the colour matching task, conflicting verbal information (e.g., BLUE printed in 'red' matched to RED printed in 'red ') produced interference. These results suggest that semantic competition may be the major source of interference for a task of this nature.

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matching task, semantic processing, interference, irrelevant stimulus dimension
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