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Single-word recognition need not depend on single-word features: Narrative coherence counteracts effects of single-word features that lexical decision emphasizes

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Citation

Teng, D. W., Wallot, S., & Kelty-Stephen, D. G. (2016). Single-word recognition need not depend on single-word features: Narrative coherence counteracts effects of single-word features that lexical decision emphasizes. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 45(6), 1451-1472. doi:10.1007/s10936-016-9416-4.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-34C8-6
Abstract
Research on reading comprehension of connected text emphasizes reliance on single-word features that organize a stable, mental lexicon of words and that speed or slow the recognition of each new word. However, the time needed to recognize a word might not actually be as fixed as previous research indicates, and the stability of the mental lexicon may change with task demands. The present study explores the effects of narrative coherence in self-paced story reading to single-word feature effects in lexical decision. We presented single strings of letters to 24 participants, in both lexical decision and self-paced story reading. Both tasks included the same words composing a set of adjective–noun pairs. Reading times revealed that the tasks, and the order of the presentation of the tasks, changed and/or eliminated familiar effects of single-word features. Specifically, experiencing the lexical-decision task first gradually emphasized the role of single-word features, and experiencing the self-paced story-reading task afterwards counteracted the effect of single-word features. We discuss the implications that task-dependence and narrative coherence might have for the organization of the mental lexicon. Future work will need to consider what architectures suit the apparent flexibility with which task can accentuate or diminish effects of single-word features.