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Initial Models in Conditionals: Evidence from Priming

  • Orlando Espino (a1) and Carlos Santamaría (a1)

Abstract

We examined the comprehension of different types of conditionals. We measured the reading time of sentences primed by different types of conditionals (Experiments 1 and 2). We found that the participants read not-p and not-q faster when it was primed by the conditional form p if q and they were slower to read p and q when it was primed by the conditional form p only if q. This effect disappeared in the second experiment, where the order of the elements was reversed (q and p and not-q and not-p). These results suggest that the conditional form p if q elicits an initial representation “from p to q” with two possibilities, while the conditional form p only if q elicits a reverse representation with only one possibility. The third experiment showed that there were effects of the order only for the conditional if p then q, which confirms the reverse representation hypothesis. We discuss the implications of these results for different theories of conditional comprehension.

Examinamos la comprensión de diferentes tipos de condicionales. Medimos el tiempo de lectura de frases facilitadas por diferentes tipos de condicionales (experimentos 1 y 2). Encontramos que los participantes leían no-p y no-q más rápidamente cuando era facilitada por la forma condicional p si q y que eran más lentos leyendo p y q cuando era facilitada por la forma condicional p sólo si q. Este efecto desapareció en el segundo experimento, donde el orden de los elementos se invirtió (q y p y no-q y no-p). Estos resultados sugieren que la forma del condicional p si q elicita una representación inicial “desde p a q” con dos posibilidades, mientras que la forma condicional p sólo si q elicita una representación inversa con una sola posibilidad. El tercer experimento mostró que había efectos de orden sólo para el condicional si p entonces q, lo cual confirma la hipótesis de la representación inversa. Se comentan las implicaciones de estos resultados para las diversas teorías de comprensión condicional.

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Corresponding author

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Orlando Espino, Departamento de Psicología Cognitiva, Universidad de la Laguna, Campus de Guajara, 38205 – Tenerife(Spain). FAX: 34-22-317461. E-mail: oespinom@ull.es

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Initial Models in Conditionals: Evidence from Priming

  • Orlando Espino (a1) and Carlos Santamaría (a1)

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