Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Craig Speelman

Abstract

This review examines the current literature with regard to repetition priming and practice. The empirical research and theoretical accounts of repetition priming reviewed indicate that repetition priming increases with practice. The review also indicates that an effect for the type of presentation of the stimuli during an experiment exists and that this effect may moderate the influence of practice on repetition priming. The variations in experimental design between studies are discussed, providing a possible explanation for contrasting findings within repetition priming research. Further research is identified and discussed. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Massed and Spaced presentation and practice on repetition priming. To facilitate this, a lexical decision task was used. Sixty participants comprising 30 university students and 30 members of the general public were asked to decide whether a letter string was a word or nonword. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: Massed presentation, Spaced presentation and Superspaced presentation. A total of 630 trials were presented to each participant comprising 300 new words, 270 nonwords and 20 old words which were repeated 3 times during the testing phase. The results indicated that the amount of priming increased with practice thus supporting the hypothesis that the amount of repetition priming would increase with increasing repetitions. It was also found that the Massed-Spaced effect may not be an issue. This finding was not congruent with the hypothesis that as spacing increases, the amount of increase in repetition priming would be reduced. Future research was recommended to clarify any advantage of the type of presentation on an implicit memory task.

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