A primed lexical decision task (ldt) was used to determine whether emotion (e.g., love, fear) and emotion-laden (e.g., puppy, hospital) word processing differs, both explicitly and implicitly. Previous experiments have investigated how emotion word processing differs from both abstract and concrete word processing (Altarriba & Bauer, 2004; Altarriba, Bauer, & Benvenuto, 1999). to assess for differences between emotion and emotion-laden word processing, 2 experiments were conducted, the first assessing explicit processing (using an unmasked ldt) and the second assessing automatic processing (using a masked ldt). the prediction that semantic priming would differ between emotion word pairs and emotion-laden word pairs was confirmed in both experiments, with shorter response times for emotion targets and greater priming effects for emotion word pairs than for emotion-laden word pairs. the role of valence is discussed, emphasizing the ways valence affects the speed with which these words are accessed and processed.

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