Instructing item-specific switch probability: expectations modulate stimulus–action priming

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



Both active response execution and passive listening to verbal codes (a form of instruction) in single prime trials lead to item-specific repetition priming effects when stimuli re-occur in single probe trials. This holds for task-specific classification (stimulus–classification, SC priming, e.g., apple–small) and action (stimulus–action, SA priming, e.g., apple–right key press). To address the influence of expectation on item-specific SC and SA associations, we tested if item-specific SC and SA priming effects were modulated by the instructed probability of re-encountering individual SC or SA mappings (25% vs. 75% instructed switch probability). Importantly, the experienced item-specific switch probability was always 50%. In Experiment 1 (N = 78), item-specific SA/SC switch expectations affected SA, but not SC priming effects exclusively following active response execution. Experiment 2 (N = 40) was designed to emphasize SA priming by only including item-specific SC repetitions. This yielded stronger SA priming for 25% vs. 75% expected switch probability, both following response execution as in Experiment 1 and also following verbally coded SA associations. Together, these results suggest that SA priming effects, that is, the encoding and retrieval of SA associations, is modulated by item-specific switch expectation. Importantly, this expectation effect cannot be explained by item-specific associative learning mechanisms, as stimuli were primed and probed only once and participants experienced item-specific repetitions/switches equally often across stimuli independent of instructed switch probabilities. This corroborates and extends previous results by showing that SA priming effects are modulated by expectation not only based on experienced item-specific switch probabilities, but also on mere instruction.


Seiten (von - bis)2195-2214
FachzeitschriftPsychological research
Frühes Online-Datum18 Jan. 2022
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 18 Jan. 2022

Externe IDs

Scopus 85123072332
WOS 000744996300001
Mendeley 082a6793-ba6a-381e-8bfa-a155020b3360
unpaywall 10.1007/s00426-021-01641-z
PubMed 35041058


DFG-Fachsystematik nach Fachkollegium


  • Auditory Perception, Humans, Motivation, Motor Activity, Probability, Reaction Time/physiology, Repetition Priming/physiology