The effects of semantic context on naming actions

Short, Anika (2012). The effects of semantic context on naming actions Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Short, Anika
Thesis Title The effects of semantic context on naming actions
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-10-10
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Greig de Zubicaray
Total pages 56
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary The current research explores semantic context effects and lexical selection in language production. The majority of the previous literature in this area has focused on testing theories proposed to explain these effects, such as ‘lexical selection by competition theory’ and ‘incremental learning theory’, using only semantically related objects. The current study explored semantic interference effects using a different grammatical class: verbs denoting actions. In order to develop stimuli for the experiment, intransitive verbs were chosen and grouped by the body part used to perform the action, based on an embodied cognition approach. In Experiment 1, a classic semantic blocking paradigm was used to explore semantic interference effects of action words blocked according to body part. Experiment 2 specifically examined incremental learning theory by eliminating the key factor of repetition that this account theorised was responsible for interference effects. Results of Experiment 1 revealed interference for semantically related verbs similar to that observed for objects. Experiment 2 revealed an interference effect when accounting for item variability only. This effect was also substantially reduced from Experiment 1. This is argued to support the incremental learning theory, as a reduction in repetition induced learning resulted in reduced interference. This study provides a novel contribution to the literature as these effects have now been shown to occur in verbs. The interpretation and implications of these findings within the speech production literature will be discussed along with recommendations for future research.
Keyword Semantic context
Naming actions

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Created: Fri, 08 Mar 2013, 10:48:07 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology