Priming the access to names of famous faces

Steve Kelly, S. Schweinberger, A. Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a continuing controversy in models of face identification concerning the level of access to names relative to semantic information. In order to determine whether names are accessed sequentially after or in parallel to semantic information, we studied participants' speeded decisions about famous faces that were primed by partial semantic or partial name information. Decisions that required the access to the celebrity's name (one or more forename syllables, Expt 1) were significantly primed by partial name primes (initials or name fragments). However, at variance with sequential stage models, no reliable priming was observed by partial semantic primes (information about nationality, occupation, or whether a person was dead or alive). Moreover, there was a clear and consistent priming effect by partial semantic primes if the task was a nationality (British or American) decision that required the access to semantic information (Expt 2), demonstrating the effectiveness of these primes. The effects of partial name primes on nationality decisions were less consistent, with a significant effect for name fragments but not initials. However, effects of name primes were generally greater for syllable decisions than nationality decisions, and effects of semantic primes were generally greater for nationality decisions than syllable decisions. Taken together, these results favour a model of parallel rather than sequential access and suggest some degree of independence in the access to personal semantics and names.
LanguageEnglish
Pages303-317
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Volume92
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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Names
Semantics
Ethnic Groups
Priming
Access to Information
Occupations
Nationality

Keywords

  • personal semantics
  • learning
  • educational psychology
  • face identification

Cite this

Kelly, S., Schweinberger, S., & Burton, A. (2001). Priming the access to names of famous faces. British Journal of Psychology, 92(2), 303-317.
Kelly, Steve ; Schweinberger, S. ; Burton, A. / Priming the access to names of famous faces. In: British Journal of Psychology. 2001 ; Vol. 92, No. 2. pp. 303-317.
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Kelly, S, Schweinberger, S & Burton, A 2001, 'Priming the access to names of famous faces' British Journal of Psychology, vol. 92, no. 2, pp. 303-317.

Priming the access to names of famous faces. / Kelly, Steve; Schweinberger, S.; Burton, A.

In: British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 92, No. 2, 2001, p. 303-317.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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