Lexical Interference in Semantic Processing of Simple Words: Implications for Brand Names
Hennessey, Judith E.; Bell, Theodore S.; Kwortnik, Robert J. Jr.
This study provides evidence for a Stroop-like interference effect in word recognition. Based on phonologic and semantic properties of simple words, participants who performed a same/different word-recognition task exhibited a significant response latency increase when word pairs (e.g., POLL, ROD) featured a comparison word (POLL) that was a homonym of a synonym (pole) of the target word (ROD). These results support a parallel-processing framework of lexical decision making, in which activation of the pathways to word recognition may occur at different levels automatically and in parallel. A subset of simple words that are also brand names was examined and exhibited this same interference. Implications for word recognition theory and practical implications for strategic marketing are discussed.
market strategy; brand names; semantics; word recognition
Required Publisher Statement: © Wiley. Final version published as: Hennessey, J. E., Bell, T. S., & Kwortnik, R. J. (2006). Lexical interference in semantic processing of simple words: Implications for brand names. Psychology & Marketing, 22(1), 51-69. doi: 10.1002/mar.20046 Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.