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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.


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© 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.

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