Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



English (en)

Date of Award

January 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Alan Lambert


Recently, Scherer and Lambert: 2009) proposed a new model of priming, which they called the Response Mapping: RM) Model. That model assumes that under some circumstances, priming effects are the result of an unintentional tendency for participants to impose the target categorization task onto the primes: which they are supposed to ignore). In the present dissertation, the RM model is reviewed, and the implications and boundary conditions of the model are explored. In Experiments 1 and 2, it was predicted and found that response mapping processes can result in evaluative conditioning effects. That is, priming tasks do not always simply measure attitudes, but rather these tasks can additionally create new attitudes towards the prime stimuli. In Experiments 3 and 4, two boundary conditions of the RM model were tested. In those experiments, it was found that evaluative priming effects depend on participants' ability to perceive the primes as belonging to distinct categories: boundary condition 1), and that those distinct categories must have different evaluative connotations: boundary condition 2). Importantly, results showed that priming effects are significantly stronger when primes are easily categorizable, relative to when they are not, even when the evaluative strength of the primes is held constant. Implications for theory and research involving priming measures and implicit attitudes more generally are discussed.


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