ERIC Number: EJ723909
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug
Reference Count: 0
On the Masking and Disclosure of Unconscious Elaborate Processing. A Reply to Van Opstal, Reynvoet, and Verguts (2005)
Kunde, Wilfried; Kiesel, Andrea; Hoffmann, Joachim
Cognition, v97 n1 p99-105 Aug 2005
We have recently argued that unconscious numerical stimuli might activate responses by a match with prespecified action trigger codes (action trigger account) rather than by semantic prime processing (elaborate processing account). [Van Opstal, F., Reynvoet, B., and Verguts, T. (2005). How to trigger elaborate processing? A comment on Kunde, Kiesel, and Hoffmann (2003). "Cognition"] replicate one piece of evidence for our inference--an inefficiency of primes not presented in target format (verbal or Arabic). But this was found only with letter masks and not with hash masks. The authors conclude that letter masks block unconscious prime processing, and that elaborate processing can account for unconscious priming effects if all its (sometimes subtle) side conditions are considered. We agree that the type of mask in general is an important factor in priming studies but we note that (i) the authors' mask-blocking hypothesis is not well supported by the data, (ii) clear evidence for semantic prime processing in their study is lacking and, (iii) differences in mask efficiency (rather than mask type) might account for the conflicting results. To corroborate this inference we replicate van Opstal et al.'s results with letter masks but reduced mask efficiency. Altogether their data do not challenge the action-trigger account nor do they strongly support the elaborate processing view.
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Experiments, Semantics, Language Processing, Foreign Countries, Cues
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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