In four experiments, we investigated the automaticity of exemplar activation. In the first three studies, using a modified flanker task, we investigated the involuntary activation of exemplar-based representations in the presence of triggering verbal stimuli. Results of all three studies demonstrated the unintentional activation of exemplars in memory. In addition, we also identified the temporal parameters (i.e., Study 2) and cerebral localization (i.e., Study 3) of exemplar-based interference effects. In Study 4, we considered the behavioral consequences of exemplar activation. As predicted, the results demonstrated a direct effect of exemplar activation on participants' behavior. We discuss our findings in the context of contemporary issues in person perception and behavioral priming. © 1998 Academic Press.
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