Individual differences in lexical repetition priming: the combined influence of language, mood, and working memory

Pautz, N. ORCID: 0000-0002-5366-5925 and Durrheim, K., 2021. Individual differences in lexical repetition priming: the combined influence of language, mood, and working memory. Experimental Psychology, 68 (4), pp. 189-197. ISSN 1618-3169

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The current research investigated whether individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) and affective states have differential effects on lexical-semantic repetition priming outcomes based on whether participants were first- or second-language English speakers. Individual differences in priming effects have often been overlooked in the priming literature. Using logistic mixed-effects models to account for within-subject variation, the current paper investigated a three-way interaction between WMC, negative affect (NA) score, and language primacy on lexical-semantic repetition priming outcomes. The results indicate that a statistically significant three-way interaction exists between language primacy, WMC, and NA scores. No significant interaction effect was found for positive affect scores. We present an argument which posits that an individual’s primary language and subsequent familiarity with the primed concepts, in conjunction with individual differences in WMC and mood, plays an important role in determining the most effective strategy used to complete a word-stem completion task. The implications of the findings presented highlight that second-language English speakers are more susceptible to priming effects when prime-inducing stimuli are constructed using English lexicon; however, larger WMC and heighted negative affective states help to mitigate these priming effects.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Experimental Psychology
Creators: Pautz, N. and Durrheim, K.
Publisher: Hogrefe Publishing Group
Date: July 2021
Volume: 68
Number: 4
ISSN: 1618-3169
Rights: © 2021 The Author(s). Distributed as a Hogrefe OpenMind article under the license CC BY-NC 4.0 (
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 16 Feb 2022 09:37
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 09:37

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