Do expected words enter consciousness faster under Continuous Flash Suppression? A direct and conceptual replication.
Bruijn, B.D. de
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Abstract Cognition guides the detection and perception of stimuli in numerous ways. Stimuli that are in some way expected or relevant to us are detected and perceived more readily. To investigate whether this also means that expected stimuli enter consciousness faster, a direct replication was done of a Continuous Flash Suppression (CFS) study by Rochal (2017), in which it was found that expected words entered awareness faster than unexpected words. Subsequently, to explore the possibility that this expectancy effect was in fact due to perceptual priming, a conceptual replication was added in which the cue words were presented in capitals while the targets were kept in lower case. One-tailed paired-samples t-test analyses on standardized z-scores showed no significant expectancy effects in either the direct or the conceptual replication, and the analysis of variance did not reveal a significant difference in the expectancy effect between the direct and conceptual replication. However, the small effects that were found were in the same direction as in the original study, whereas the sample size (25 participants, of whom 11 male) was only half of what in advance was deemed necessary to arrive at a power of .80. Therefore, it was carefully concluded that expected words may enter consciousness faster, either as a result of perceptual priming or expectancy.