Two types of word superiority effects in a speeded matching task

Wayne P. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Two experiments examined unitization in word and nonword four-letter sequences and word superiority effects (WSE) using same-different reaction time tasks. Stimuli consisted of letters presented directly above a subset of letters within four-letter sequences (e.g., {Mathematical expression}). Probes either matched the sequence letters or differed in a single letter, and all possible probe configurations were used as stimuli. When complex probe configurations were matched as rapidly as single-letter probes, it was taken as evidence suggestive of possible multiletter unitization. Results indicated that a WSE occurred simultaneously with apparent unitization differences between word and nonword contexts only when entire four-letter sequences were matched. However, other WSEs were found, suggesting that familiarity affected processing efficiency of both postperceptual inference and perceptual analysis within the same task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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