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

Jalmbrant, M. and LeBoutillier, Nicholas 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

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Abstract

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 effects. 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).

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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:School of Health and Education > Health & Education
ID Code:5025
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Deposited On:09 Apr 2010 06:13
Last Modified:06 Feb 2013 12:12

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