Эффект асимметрии семантической активации при неосознаваемом понимании многозначной лексики
The article addresses the issue of perception and processing of ambiguous information. Experimental effects of understanding of polysemantic stimuli (homonyms, reversed figures) on conscious and unconscious levels have been analyzed. It is shown that implicit awareness of several meanings occurs before the explication of one meaning of stimulus take place. The aim of the current research is to discover the effect of asymmetry of semantic activation in unconscious perception of ambiguous information (in homonyms). The procedures and results of the two conducted studies are fully described. In Experiment 1, technique of priming was used, in which ambiguous words were used as prime stimuli. Participants were randomly divided into four groups (two experimental and two control groups). Unconscious primes with visual mask were demonstrated to participants of experimental groups. Then, two words were demonstrated, only one of which had semantic relation to one meaning of the prime stimulus. The sets of stimuli in the experimental groups differed only in the words that were semantically related to the meaning of the ambiguous prime. The words that were not semantically related to the prime stimuli were identical. Then all participants (including participants in control groups) were told to choose as quickly as they could one word of two, using keys “left” or “right”. The results supported the hypothesis about the asymmetry of semantic activation in general. Participants did choose words related to particular meaning of prime stimuli more often. In Experiment 2, participants were asked to write down associations with the same words that were used as primes in Experiment 1. The results have shown that stronger association between prime and ambiguous stimuli facilitates priming-effect, while weaker association makes priming-effect insignificant. The present research supports the proposition that all alternative meanings of ambiguous words are more or less actualized implicitly, which influences further cognitive activity. The described phenomenon was labeled as the effect of semantic activation asymmetry. On the unconscious level, this asymmetry shows up as quantitative difference between priming-effects. On the conscious level, this asymmetry shows up as easiness and accessibility of verbal associations on corresponding meaning of the ambiguous word.