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How do speakers resist distraction? Evidence from a taboo picture-word interference task

Elisah D'Hooge (UGent) and Robert Hartsuiker (UGent)
(2011) PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE. 22(7). p.855-859
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Abstract
Even in the presence of irrelevant stimuli, word production is a highly accurate and fluent process. But how do speakers prevent themselves from naming the wrong things? One possibility is that an attentional system inhibits task-irrelevant representations. Alternatively, a verbal self-monitoring system might check speech for accuracy and remove errors stemming from irrelevant information. Because self-monitoring is sensitive to social appropriateness, taboo errors should be intercepted more than neutral errors are. To prevent embarrassment, speakers might also speak more slowly when confronted with taboo distractors. Our results from two experiments are consistent with the self-monitoring account: Examining picture-naming speed (Experiment 1) and accuracy (Experiment 2), we found fewer naming errors but longer picture-naming latencies for pictures presented with taboo distractors than for pictures presented with neutral distractors. These results suggest that when intrusions of irrelevant words are highly undesirable, speakers do not simply inhibit these words: Rather, the language-production system adjusts itself to the context and filters out the undesirable words.
Keywords
SEMANTIC INTERFERENCE, SPEECH PRODUCTION, RESPONSE EXCLUSION, LEXICAL ACCESS, TIME COURSE, STROOP, FACILITATION, FREQUENCY, SELECTION, PARADIGM, picture-word interference, taboo words, distracting stimuli

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
D’Hooge, Elisah, and Robert Hartsuiker. 2011. “How Do Speakers Resist Distraction? Evidence from a Taboo Picture-word Interference Task.” Psychological Science 22 (7): 855–859.
APA
D’Hooge, E., & Hartsuiker, R. (2011). How do speakers resist distraction? Evidence from a taboo picture-word interference task. PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE, 22(7), 855–859.
Vancouver
1.
D’Hooge E, Hartsuiker R. How do speakers resist distraction? Evidence from a taboo picture-word interference task. PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE. 2011;22(7):855–9.
MLA
D’Hooge, Elisah, and Robert Hartsuiker. “How Do Speakers Resist Distraction? Evidence from a Taboo Picture-word Interference Task.” PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE 22.7 (2011): 855–859. Print.
@article{1182089,
  abstract     = {Even in the presence of irrelevant stimuli, word production is a highly accurate and fluent process. But how do speakers prevent themselves from naming the wrong things? One possibility is that an attentional system inhibits task-irrelevant representations. Alternatively, a verbal self-monitoring system might check speech for accuracy and remove errors stemming from irrelevant information. Because self-monitoring is sensitive to social appropriateness, taboo errors should be intercepted more than neutral errors are. To prevent embarrassment, speakers might also speak more slowly when confronted with taboo distractors. Our results from two experiments are consistent with the self-monitoring account: Examining picture-naming speed (Experiment 1) and accuracy (Experiment 2), we found fewer naming errors but longer picture-naming latencies for pictures presented with taboo distractors than for pictures presented with neutral distractors. These results suggest that when intrusions of irrelevant words are highly undesirable, speakers do not simply inhibit these words: Rather, the language-production system adjusts itself to the context and filters out the undesirable words.},
  author       = {D'Hooge, Elisah and Hartsuiker, Robert},
  issn         = {0956-7976},
  journal      = {PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE},
  keyword      = {SEMANTIC INTERFERENCE,SPEECH PRODUCTION,RESPONSE EXCLUSION,LEXICAL ACCESS,TIME COURSE,STROOP,FACILITATION,FREQUENCY,SELECTION,PARADIGM,picture-word interference,taboo words,distracting stimuli},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {855--859},
  title        = {How do speakers resist distraction? Evidence from a taboo picture-word interference task},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797611410984},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2011},
}

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