The word class effect in the picture-word interference paradigm

Niels Janssen, Alissa Melinger, Bradford Z. Mahon, Matthew Finkbeiner, Alfonso Caramazza

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    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The word class effect in the picture-word interference paradigm is a highly influential finding that has provided some of the most compelling support for word class constraints on lexical selection. However, methodological concerns called for a replication of the most convincing of those effects. Experiment 1 was a direct replication of Pechmann and Zerbst (2002; Experiment 4). Participants named pictures of objects in the context of noun and adverb distractors. Naming took place in bare noun and sentence frame contexts. A word class effect emerged in both bare noun and sentence frame naming conditions, suggesting a semantic origin of the effect. In Experiment 2, participants named objects in the context of noun and verb distractors whose word class relationship to the target and imageability were orthogonally manipulated. As before, naming took place in bare noun and sentence frame naming contexts. In both naming contexts, distractor imageability but not word class affected picture naming latencies. These findings confirm the sensitivity of the picture-word interference paradigm to distractor imageability and suggest the paradigm is not sensitive to distractor word class. The results undermine the use of the word class effect in the picture-word interference paradigm as supportive of word class constraints during lexical selection.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1233-1246
    Number of pages14
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
    Volume63
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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