What is the Semantic Priming Project?

The Semantic Priming Project (SPP) examines the use of prior context in word recognition and is an extension of the English Lexicon Project, which focused on factors influencing word recognition in the absence of context. The SPP will amass a large set (over 1.26 million behavioral estimates total) of reaction-times (RTs) and errors for nearly 1,700 target words following either related or unrelated prime words. These data, based upon 768 participants, will be integrated within a larger database that will include descriptive statistics of the individual words used in the study, statistics regarding the associative and/or semantic relatedness of the prime-target pairs, and demographic and behavioral information regarding each participant. Researchers interested in psycholinguistics, human attention and memory, computational modeling, and other fields will find these data useful. For example, researchers will be better equipped to select stimuli, test theories, and reduce potential confounds in their studies.


This project represents a collaborative effort across 4 universities and is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation to Keith A. Hutchison and David A. Balota.

We would like to thank our site directors at each of the universities for all their effort and helpful discussions on this project.

Montana State University Jesse Bengson
Emily Cohen-Shikora
SUNY Albany James Neely
University of Nebraska, Omaha Michael Cortese
Washington University Chi-Shing Tse

We would also like to thank the following people at each institution for their help in running participants.

Montana State University Margaret Freuen
SUNY Albany Patrick O’Connor
University of Nebraska, Omaha ?????
Washington University ?????


Please use the following citation for this website:

Hutchison, K.A., Balota, D.A., Cortese, M.J., Neely, J.H., Niemeyer, D.P., & Bengson, J.J. The Semantic Priming Project: A web database of descriptive and behavioral measures for 1,661 nonwords and 1,661 English words presented in related and unrelated contexts. http://spp.montana.edu, Montana State University.

Webmaster: Dale Niemeyer: Email.