Predominant and non-predominant analysis: Effects of level of presentation


MRC Applied Psychology Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 2EF, UK


Evidence is presented which supports earlier findings by the author which suggested that stimuli outside our awareness receive a predominantly semantic analysis whereas stimuli which we realize are present, but do not recognize, are processed in a predominantly structural fashion. The work reported here extends such findings to another sense mode. i.e. hearing, and employs a very different task, i.e. sentence completion. The research presented shows that non-predominant analyses, if carried out at all, do not influence the outcomes of predominant processing. This is taken to suggest that the type of analysis automatically carried out on stimuli depends on the level at which they are received and requires a complex, non-linear view of the perceptual process.