Date of Graduation
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
William H. Levine
Douglas A. Behrend
Second Committee Member
Ellen W. Leen-Feldner
Language, literature and linguistics; Psychology; Activation; Negation; Pragmatics; Reading; Representation
Research on the activation of negated concepts has demonstrated situations in which negated concepts are less active than non-negated concepts (e.g., MacDonald & Just, 1989) as well as situations where negated and non-negated concepts are equally active (e.g., Autry & Levine, 2012, in press). Based on the pragmatic inference hypothesis (Levine & Hagaman, 2008), the present experiments tested the hypothesis that the activation level of negated concepts is a function of the context in which they occur. In two experiments, the activation level of target concepts was measured following licensing or non-licensing contexts using lexical decision and reading times. Although Experiment 1 suggested that subjects inferred the target concept in the licensing contexts more than in the non-licensing contexts, Experiment 2 did not find the predicted evidence of a differential negation effect in licensing and non-licensing contexts. These findings suggest that licensing does not affect the activation of negated concepts.
Autry, Kevin, "Effects of Licensed and Unlicensed Negation on the Activation of Negated Concepts" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 1053.