Date of Conferral







James Carroll


Past research has shown that accessing a memory allows faster subsequent access to the memory activated as well as to related information (priming). There has been much research devoted to implicit category priming (unintentional priming of a category of information), but this research has not determined the number of categories that can be implicitly primed simultaneously. The goal of the present quantitative study was to address that gap. Twenty participants (ages 27-54 years, M=44 years), who volunteered through an online participant pool, were presented with 2 tasks over the Internet. A scrambled phrase task implicitly primed 5 unrelated categories and a lexical decision (LD) task measured the priming (mean time between tasks = 42 seconds). Resulting primed and unprimed LD response latency distributions were strongly, positively skewed, which obscured individual priming effects. Gaussian parameters were extracted to overcome this skew, and the distributions were created for analysis. Dunnett's multiple comparisons post-hoc test following a 1-way ANOVA showed that 2 of the 5 categories remained significantly primed. Follow-up research should determine the reliability of this value. This value, and its range (to be identified in follow-up studies) would provide a means for comparing lesson efficacy and teacher performance. The results of this research also replicate previous research demonstrating long-term implicit category priming.

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