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The Fate of the Unattended Revisited: Can Irrelevant Speech Prime the Non-dominant Interpretation of Homophones?
School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8738-9925
School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0795-8065
School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston UK.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology. School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9494-1287
2023 (English)In: Auditory Perception & Cognition, ISSN 2574-2442, Vol. 6, no 1-2, p. 72-96Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Whether the post-categorical, semantic properties of task-irrelevant speech are processed has been a source of debate between two central accounts. The first, a structural account, proposes that the semantic content of irrelevant speech is filtered out early on, and thus remains unprocessed. The second account proposes that the semantic content of speech is, in fact, processed and can influence later behavior. The present research offers a resolution between these two prominent accounts by examining whether semantic processing of task-irrelevant speech occurs despite explicit instructions to ignore it. During a visual-verbal serial recall paradigm, participants were auditorily presented with non-dominant homophones plus their close associates, or close associates without the homophone itself and asked to ignore this irrelevant speech containing these semantic primes. In a subsequent “unrelated” phase, we assessed whether the spelling of homophones was influenced by the irrelevant speech that had occurred earlier in the serial recall phase. We found evidence of semantic priming in conditions wherein the homophone was present, as well as conditions wherein only associates of the homophone were present. Regardless of whether they were presented, homophones were more likely to be spelt in accordance with their non-dominant meaning, and most participants did not report awareness of this fact. We suggest that semantic processing of irrelevant speech occurs even when there is an explicit direction to ignore it and does not result in any material disruptive effect on serial recall performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2023. Vol. 6, no 1-2, p. 72-96
Keywords [en]
Auditory distraction, semantic processing, homophone priming, irrelevant speech
National Category
Applied Psychology General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-93283DOI: 10.1080/25742442.2022.2124799OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-93283DiVA, id: diva2:1699468
Note

Godkänd;2023;Nivå 0;2023-07-14 (sofila);

Funder: School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire

Available from: 2022-09-28 Created: 2022-09-28 Last updated: 2023-07-14Bibliographically approved

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Marsh, John Everett

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