Do we need to be aware of words to process their meaning? An overview of studies researching unconscious semantic processing.
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This paper aims to find out what evidence exists at this moment in time for us processing the meaning of words unconsciously. There has been done much research previously on unconscious processing. This paper focuses on experiments which investigate the possibility of unconscious semantic processing. I aim to give an overview of what evidence has been found so far, and analyse this evidence to give a recommendation for future research. This paper finds that there is evidence that the meaning of words is processed unconsciously, but that evidence is influenced by a great many factors and thus easily gives different kinds of results, whether that is in favour of or against unconscious semantic processing. The findings of this thesis are in line with a theory by Dehaene et al. (2006), who say that different types of unconsciousness seem to exist, which find themselves in different streams of processing.