Context effects in sentence verification

John I. Kiger, Arnold L. Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Three experiments with 76 undergraduates examined what happens to RT to verify easy items when they are mixed with difficult items in a verification task. In Exp I, Ss verified 1 of 2 lists of simple arithmetic equations. In the easy list, the sums for the false items were less than either addend (e.g., 8 + 6 = 5). In the difficult list, the sums for half of the false items differed from the correct sum by ±1 or ±2 (e.g., 8 + 6 = 15). Equations common to both lists were verified slower when in the difficult list. In Exp II, half of the equations common to both lists were replaced with easy true and false sentences. The sentences also took longer to verify in the difficult list. Exp III showed that difficult sentences also slowed the verification of easy arithmetic equations. Data suggest that a general context effect exists in RT experiments. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-700
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1981

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • verification of sentences in easy vs difficult lists, college students


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