The fast-same effect is the observation that “same” responses are much faster than “different” responses in the same-different task. Moreover, identical stimuli are responded to faster than stimuli that are the same in name only (e.g., B and b). We examine Bamber’s (1969) identity reporter model (a two-stage model predicting load effects), Proctor’s (1981) facilitation framework, and Krueger and Shapiro’s (1981) priming framework, proposed to account for these effects. Facilitation and priming are strong for identical and repeated stimuli, for phonological associates, and, in principle, for any form of association. We thus manipulated two types of associations: nominal (changing the letter case, preserving phonology) and learned (matching arbitrary symbols to letters) associations and used extended training to see variations in load effects. We found that overall performance benefits from phonological information and from training, although training did not change load effects. Additionally, the results from a transfer phase show capacity limitation for learned associates, which severely constrains facilitation. This finding is inconsistent with a priming framework. The results are discussed using an expanded version of Bamber’s identity reporter model, which is also compatible with Proctor’s facilitation framework.

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