Comparing Repetition Priming Effects in Words and Arithmetic Equations: Robust Priming Regardless of Color or Response Hand Change
Previous studies have shown that stimulus repetition can lead to reliable behavioral improvements. Although this repetition priming (RP) effect has been reported in a number of paradigms using a variety of stimuli including words, objects, and faces, only a few studies have investigated mathematical cognition involving arithmetic computation, and no prior research has directly compared RP effects in a linguistic task with an arithmetic task. In two experiments, we used a within-subjects design to investigate and compare the magnitude of RP, and the effects of changing the color or the response hand for repeated, otherwise identical, stimuli in a word and an arithmetic categorization task. The results show that the magnitude of RP was comparable between the two tasks and that changing the color or the response hand had a negligible effect on priming in either task. These results extended previous findings in mathematical cognition. They also indicate that priming does not vary with stimulus domain. The implications of the results were discussed with reference to both facilitation of component processes and episodic memory retrieval of stimulus–response binding.