Influence of Irrelevant Verbal Satiation on the Negative Priming Effect



Multiple repetitions of the same word induce the verbal satiation effect — a feeling of complete or partial loss of meaning for the given word. Objectively this effect manifests itself in slower performance for tasks associated with a repeated word. According to V.Allakhverdov (2000) we assume that the attempt to keep realizing the unchanged content will help to “forget” the common meanings of this content. Our consciousness cannot stay empty, thus some other new meanings (which were previously “blocked but activated” because of a negative choice) should replace the “forgotten” meanings. These new meanings should not be necessarily related to the repeated stimuli. Here we used the negative priming method for experimental control of the “blocked but activated” stimuli. The main task for our participants was to read a target word as quickly as possible while ignoring the distractor word. The additional task appeared after every 3 probes of the main task: we asked our participants to read 10 words aloud (in the control group) or repeat the same one word aloud for 10 times (in the experimental group). The negative priming effect was found — the reaction was slower for the target stimuli, which have been previously presented as the distractors — but it decreased under the influence of verbal satiation in those subjects who performed the main task more slowly (they also pronounced the repeated words much more slowly in comparison to the control group). In addition, the irrelevant verbal satiation speeded up overall subjects’ responses during the main task.

General Information

Keywords: verbal satiation, negative priming, awareness, aftereffects, ignored distractors

Journal rubric: General Psychology, Personality Psychology, History of Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Naumenko O.V., Kostina D.I. Influence of Irrelevant Verbal Satiation on the Negative Priming Effect. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2017. Vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 328–342. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


van den Hout M.A., Engelhard I.M., Smeets M., Dek E.C., Turksma K., Saric R. Uncertainty about perception and dissociation after compulsive-like staring: Time course of effects. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 2009, vol. 47, no. 6, рр. 535–539.

Giele C.L., van den Hout M.A., Engelhard I.M., Dek E.C., Hoogers E.E., de Wit K. Ironic effects of compulsive perseveration. Memory, 2013, vol. 21, no. 4, рр. 417–422.

Giele C.L., van den Hout M.A., Engelhard I.M., Dek E.C. Paradoxical effects of compulsive perseveration: Sentence repetition causes semantic uncertainty. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 2014, vol. 3, no. 1, рр. 35–38.

Il’in E.P. Psikhofiziologiia sostoianii cheloveka [Psychophysiology of human states]. Moscow, Piter Publ., 2005. 412 р. (In Russian)

Karsten A. Psikhicheskoe nasyshchenie [Mental satiation]. In Levin K. Dinamicheskaia psikhologiia: Izbrannye Trudy [Levin K. Dynamic psychology: Selected works]. Moscow, Smysl Publ., 2001, рр. 496–533. (In Russian)

Allakhverdov V.M. Soznanie kak paradox [Consciousness as a paradox]. St. Petersburg, DNA Publ., 2000. 528 p. (In Russian)

Negnevitskaia E.I. Smyslovoe vospriiatie teksta i semanticheskaia satiatsiia [Semantic perception of the text and semantic satiation]. Smyslovoe vospriiatie rechevogo soobshcheniia [The semantic perception of verbal message]. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1976, pp. 114–119. (In Russian)

Jakobovits L., Lambert W. Semantic satiation in an addition task. Canadian journal of psychology, 1962, vol. 16, рр. 112–119.

Fillenbaum S. Verbal satiation and changes in meaning of related items. Journal of verbal learning and verbal behavior, 1963, vol. 2, nо. 3, рр. 263–271.

Jakobovits L.A. Utilization of Semantic Satiation in Stuttering: A Theoretical Analysis. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 1966, vol. 31, no. 2, рр. 105–114.

Lewis M.B., Ellis H.D. Satiation in name and face recognition. Memory & Cognition, 2000, vol. 28, no. 5, рр. 783–788.

Gendron M., Lindquist K.A., Barsalou L., Barrett L.F. Emotion words shape emotion percepts. Emotion (Washington, DC), 2012, vol. 12, no. 2, рр. 314–325.

Warren R., Gregory R. An auditory analogue of the visual reversible figure. The American journal of psychology, 1958, vol. 71, no. 3, рр. 612–613.

Falk S., Rathcke T., Dalla Bella S. When speech sounds like music. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 2014, vol. 40, no. 4, рр. 1491–1506.

English M.C., Visser T.A. Exploring the repetition paradox: The effects of learning context and massed repetition on memory. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 2014, vol. 21, no. 4, рр. 1026–1032.

Mulligan N.W., Peterson D.J. The negative repetition effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 2013, vol. 39, no. 5, рр. 1403–1416.

Kanwisher N.G. Repetition blindness: Type recognition without token individuation. Cognition, 1987, vol. 27, no. 2. P. 117–143.

Zinchenko V.P., Meshcheriakov B.G. Bol’shoi psikhologicheskii slovar’ [Psychological Dictionary]. St. Petersburg, Praim-Evroznak Publ., 2003. 632 p. (In Russian)

Deacon B.J., Fawzy T.I., Lickel J.J., Wolitzky-Taylor K.B. Cognitive defusion versus cognitive restructuring in the treatment of negative self-referential thoughts: An investigation of process and outcome. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 2011, vol. 25, no. 3, рр. 218–232.

Baird B., Smallwood J., Mrazek M.D., Kam J.W., Franklin M. S., Schooler J.W. Inspired by distraction: mind wandering facilitates creative incubation. Psychological Science, 2012, vol. 23, no. 10, рр. 1117–1122.

Baars B.J.A scientific approach to silent consciousness. Frontiers in Psychology, 2013, vol. 4, рр. 678.

Wackermann J., Pütz P., Allefeld C. Ganzfeld-induced hallucinatory experience, its phenomenology and cerebral electrophysiology. Cortex, 2008, vol. 44, no. 10, рр. 1364–1378.

Wallace B., Knight T.A., Garrett J.B. Hypnotic susceptibility and frequency reports to illusory stimuli. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1976, vol. 85, no. 6, рр. 558–563.

Wallace B., Priebe F.A. Hypnotic susceptibility, interference, and alternation frequency to the Necker cube illusion. The Journal of general psychology, 1985, vol. 112, no. 3, рр. 271–277.

Shertok L. Gipnoz [Hypnosis]. Transl. from French. Moscow, Meditsina, 1992. 224 p.

Pilotti M., Antrobus J. S., Duff M. The effect of presemantic acoustic adaptation on semantic “satiation”. Memory & cognition, 1997, vol. 25, no. 3, рр. 305–312.

Tian X., Huber D.E. Testing an associative account of semantic satiation. Cognitive psychology, 2010, vol. 60, no. 4, рр. 267–290.

Winkielman P., Huber D.E., Kavanagh L., Schwarz N. Fluency of consistency: When thoughts fit nicely and flow smoothly. Cognitive consistency: A fundamental principle in social cognition. New York, Guilford Press, 2012, рр. 89–111.

Black S.R. Semantic satiation and lexical ambiguity resolution. The American journal of psychology, 2000, vol. 114, no. 4, рр. 493–510.

Black S.R., Leonard R.C., Willis S., Burton P., McCown S., Lookadoo R., Wayde E. Effects of homograph meaning frequency on semantic satiation. Canadian journal of experimental psychology, 2013, vol. 67, no. 3, рр. 175–187.

Wetheril C. Semantic Satiation among Lexically Ambiguous Words. 2014. Senior Honors Projects. 25. Available at: (accessed: 19.08.2017).

Naumenko O.V., Kostina D.I., Andriianova N.V. Nerelevantnaia semanticheskaia satiatsiia kak sposob povysheniia effektivnosti resheniia kognitivnykh zadach [Irrelevant semantic satiation as a method to improve the efficiency of solving cognitive tasks]. Shestaia mezhdunarodnaia konferentsiia po kognitivnoi nauke: Tez. dokl. [The Sixth International Conference on Cognitive Science: Abstracts]. Kaliningrad, Printed in Standartu Spaustuve, Lithuania, 2014, S. 718–719. (In Russian)

Naumenko O., Kostina D. Aftereffects in solving dual-meaning anagrams. Toward a Science of Consciousness 2015. Helsinki: Hakapaino Oy, 2015. р. 305.

Allakhverdov V.M. Opyt teoreticheskoi psikhologii (v zhanre nauchnoi revoliutsii) [The experience of theoretical psychology (in the genre of the scientific revolution) ]. St. Petersburg, Pechatnyi dvor Publ., 1993. 325 p. (In Russian)

Andriyanova N.V. Ustoichivye oshibki v protsesse naucheniia: osobennosti i vozmozhnosti prognozirovaniia [Regular errors in the learning process: features and possibility to predict]. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Ser. 16. Psychology and Education, 2014, no. 4, рр. 124–131. (In Russian)

Tipper S.P. The negative priming effect: Inhibitory priming by ignored objects. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1985, vol. 37, no. 4, рр. 571–590.

Milliken B., Joordens S., Merikle P.M., Seiffert A.E. Selective attention: A reevaluation of the implication of negative priming. Psychological review, 1998, vol. 105, no. 2, рр. 203–229.

Liashevskaia O.N., Sharov S.A. Chastotnyi slovar’ sovremennogo russkogo iazyka (na materialakh Natsional’nogo korpusa russkogo iazyka) [Dictionary of the Modern Russian Language (on the materials of the national corpus of the Russian language) ]. Moscow, Azbukovnik Publ., 2009. 1112 p. (In Russian)

Kostina D.I., Naumenko O.V. Praiming-effekt i vliianie nerelevantnoi semanticheskoi satiatsii pri reshenii dvoistvennykh anagramm [Priming effect and the influence of irrelevant semantic satiation during dual-meaning anagrams solving]. Mater. vseros. konf. po kognitivnoi nauke «Kognitivnye issledovaniia na sovremennom etape» [All-Russian conference on cognitive science: “Cognitive research at the present stage” ]. Kazan, 2017 (in press). (In Russian)

Malley G.B., Strayer D.L. Effect of stimulus repetition on positive and negative identity priming. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 1995, vol. 57, no. 5, рр. 657–667.

Naumenko O.V. «Opustoshenie soznaniia» s pomoshch’iu semanticheskoi satiatsii kak sposob preodoleniia illiuzii Miullera-Laiera [“Clearing consciousness” by means of semantic satiation as the way to reduce Müller-Lyer illusion]. Ot istokov k sovremennosti: 130 let organizatsii psikhologicheskogo obshchestva pri Moskovskom universitete: Sb. mat-lov iubileinoi konf.: v 5 t. [From origins to modern times: 130 years since framing of the Moscow university psychological society: The compendium of the anniversary conference: In 5 vol. ]. Ed. by D.B.Bogoyavlenskaya. Мoscow, Cogito-Centre Publ., 2015, vol. 1, pp. 206–208. (In Russian)

Mooneyham B.W., Schooler J.W. Mind wandering minimizes mind numbing: Reducing semanticsatiation effects through absorptive lapses of attention. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 2016, vol. 23, no. 4, рр. 1273–1279.

Information About the Authors

Olga V. Naumenko, PhD in Psychology, St. Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:

Daria I. Kostina, postgraduate, St. Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:



Total: 102
Previous month: 4
Current month: 0


Total: 37
Previous month: 0
Current month: 1