An investigation into priming effects in mental imagery and perception using Pavio’s Mental Clock Task.

Jalmbrant, M., LeBoutillier, Nicholas ORCID: and Westley, David (2002) An investigation into priming effects in mental imagery and perception using Pavio’s Mental Clock Task. Proceedings of the British Psychological Society, 10 (2) . ISSN 1350-472X


Objectives: Two studies investigated positive
and negative priming during presentation of
imagery and perceptual versions of Pavio’s
(1978) mental clock task.
Design: Both studies employed a two-way within subject
design, i.e. Type of Priming (positive
priming versus negative priming versus control)
by Angle-Size Difference (30° versus 60°).
Reaction time (ms) and error scores were
recorded to assess priming and equivalence
Methods: 60 students volunteered to take part in
the experiments. The first study required 30
participants to make mental comparisons about
clock couplets following positive, negative, and
control presentations. Ninety-six trials were
presented and harmonic means were used to
derive reaction time scores. The second
experiment employed a mental imagery version
of the task.
Results: In the first experiment analyses of
prime-control scores (using ANOVAs and t-tests)
showed main and interaction effects. These were
qualified through the findings that participants
performed significantly faster following positive
priming and significantly slower during negative
priming during the 60° comparison condition. The
negative priming effect was not found in the 30°
comparison task. Analyses of error scores
supported these findings. The second study
yielded equivalent significant main and interaction
effects for the prime and angle size variables.
Further analyses of the error scores supported
the reaction times scores.
Conclusions: These findings are discussed in
the context of bottom-up versus top-down models
of processing (Houghton & Tipper, 1994;
McDonald, Joordens & Seergobin, 1999).
Tentative support for perceptual equivalence
models of mental imagery is also reviewed (e.g.
Finke, 1985).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The 2002 Annual Conference in parallel with the Division of Clinical Psychology Conference and the Student Members Group Conference Blackpool, 13–16 March 2002.
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 5025
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2010 06:13
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:18

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