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Competitor effects in naming objects and famous faces

By Tim Valentine and Stephen Darling

Abstract

The prior production of an alternative name increases the time taken to name a famous face. For example, naming a picture of the comedy actor ‘‘John Cleese’’ by the\ud name of the character he played in the TV series Fawlty Towers (Basil Fawlty)increases the time required to subsequently produce the name ‘‘John Cleese’’. This\ud effect has been termed the ‘‘nominal competitor effect’’. In contrast prior production of a property associated with a famous person has no effect on naming speed. For\ud example, prior production of the name of the TV series Fawlty Towers does not slow subsequent production of ‘‘John Cleese’’. The experiments reported explored analogous\ud effects in object naming. Experiment 1 examined the effects of prior production of an alternative name (e.g., from American English or British English) and a semantic associate on the time taken to name line drawings of objects. It was found that prior production of an alternative name slowed object naming, but prior\ud production of the name of a semantic associate did not. Experiment 2 demonstrated that cueing a specific name (e.g., the British English name) was not a necessary\ud condition for the nominal competitor effect on object naming. Experiment 3 demonstrated that the nominal competitor effect on naming famous faces was also observed\ud under both cued and uncued naming instructions. The data from both object and face naming are interpreted within the terms of current models of speech production

Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eresearch.qmu.ac.uk:938
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