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Antecedents and distractors in the anaphor resolution process: The influence of relative strength of association in memory

Robert Allen Mason, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract

In three experiments, subjects read passages containing one or two candidates for an anaphoric reference that differed in their distance from the reference and their strength of association to the categorical anaphor. Eye movements were recorded in Experiment 1. When a distractor was present, readers spent longer on the anaphoric noun when the antecedent was high-typical; however, they spent longer on the words following the anaphoric noun when the antecedent was low-typical. This effect, accompanied by an increase in regressions to the disambiguating adjective for the target region when the antecedent was low-typical and a distractor was present, indicate that, in this condition, the distractor was identified before the antecedent. Recognition probes in Experiment 2 showed that near, high-typical distractors were more available than far, low-typical antecedents; however, a facilitation effect for the antecedents suggest that the anaphor was successfully resolved. Delayed long-term memory probes were used in Experiment 3 to investigate the result of the resolution process. The results from the three experiments are discussed in terms of a general framework for anaphor resolution. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Robert Allen Mason, "Antecedents and distractors in the anaphor resolution process: The influence of relative strength of association in memory" (January 1, 1998). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. Paper AAI9909185.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9909185

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