Experiment 2 Materials (Nonsense/No Meaning)

These stimuli were used in the following experiment:

GERNSBACHER, M. A., ROBERTSON, R. R. W., & WERNER, N. K. (2000). The costs and benefits of meaning. In D. S. Gorfein’s (Ed.) On the consequences of meaning selection. APA Books, Washington, D.C. [view PDF]

These sentences were presented as “pairs,” meaning one version of the prime sentence immediately preceded the target sentence.


N = nonsense
S = same
D = different

1. Primes:
D: She rubbed her temple.
N: She harvested her temple.
S: She prayed at her temple.
Target:She visited her temple.

2. Primes:
D: He calculated the mass.
N: He crept the mass.
S: He worshipped at the mass.
Target: He walked to the mass.

3. Primes:
D: He spun the top.
N: He rang the top.
S: He gazed up to the top.
Target: He climbed to the top.

4. Primes:
D: She filled up the pitcher.
N: She grew the pitcher.
S: She threw to the pitcher.
Target: She yelled at the pitcher.

5. Primes:
D: She carried the case.
N: She thrilled the case.
S: She debated the case.
Target: She prepared for the case.

6. Primes:
D: She tasted the punch.
N: She auditioned the punch.
S: She defended against the punch.
Target: She blocked the punch.

7. Primes:
D: She chopped a date.
N: She blistered a date.
S: She had a date.
Target: She went out on a date.

8. Primes:
D: He joined the club.
N: He breathed the club.
S: He swung the club.
Target: He hit with the club.

9. Primes:
D: He walked on the deck.
N: He fooled the deck.
S: He shuffled the deck.
Target: He stacked the deck.

10. Primes:
D: He lived in the present.
N: He listened the present.
S: He bought the present.
Target: He wrapped the present.

11. Primes:
D: He shot with the bow.
N: He calmed the bow.
S: He tied the bow.
Target: He untied the bow.

12. Primes:
D: He measured with the ruler.
N: He poached the ruler.
S: He obeyed the ruler.
Target: He served under the ruler.

13. Primes:
D: She sang the note.
N: She knitted the note.
S: She wrote the note.
Target: She mailed the note.

14. Primes:
D: She sliced the toast.
N: She bled the toast.
S: She recited the toast.
Target: She proposed the toast.

15. Primes:
D: She erased the board
N: She devoted the board.
S: She was elected to the board.
Target: She presided over the board.

16. Primes:
D: He transplanted the organ.
N: He mowed the organ.
S: He tuned the organ.
Target: He played the organ.

17. Primes:
D: She won the match.
N: She prosecuted the match.
S: She lit the match.
Target: She blew out the match.

18. Primes:
D: She was stuck in the jam.
N: She hiked the jam.
S: She bottled the jam.
Target: She ate the jam.

19. Primes:
D: He played some gin.
N: He crocheted some gin.
S: He poured some gin.
Target: He drank some gin.

20. Primes:
D: He performed the drill.
N: He terrified the drill.
S: He plugged in the drill.
Target: He bought the drill.

21. Primes:
D: He robbed the bank.
N: He knotted the bank.
S: He sunbathed on the bank.
Target: He sat on the bank.

22. Primes:
D: She was a member of the cabinet.
N: She burst the cabinet.
S: She dusted off the cabinet.
Target: She opened up the cabinet.

23. Primes:
D: She cancelled the reservation.
N: She mopped the reservation.
S: She lived on the reservation.
Target: She visited the reservation.

24. Primes:
D: He threw to the batter.
N: He erased the batter.
S: He mixed the batter.
Target: He poured out the batter.


YNM : Yes/No Match (16)

1. He sold the arms.
He played the arms.

2. She washed the china.
She humiliated the china.

3. She played squash.
She sang squash.

4. He sat by the well.
He translated the well.

5. He read over the file.
He wandered the file.

6. He picked up his racket.
He defeated his racket.

7. He mended the sole.
He confessed the sole.

8. He tanned the hide.
He flew the hide.

9. He opened the door with the key.
He respected with the key.

10. He painted on a seond coat.
He yelled a coat.

11. She voted on the bill.
She asked the bill.

12. She ran around the diamond.
She hired the diamond.

13. She leaned on the staff.
She rewound the staff.

14. She peeled the bark.
She notified the bark.

15. She baked the tart.
She horrified the tart.

16. She pounded in the post.
She impressed the post.

NYM: No/Yes match (8)

1. He quartered the wake.
He attended the wake.

2. He tortured the mine.
He excavated the mine.

3. She swam the order.
She gave the order.

4. She telephoned the stick.
She picked up the stick.

5. He argued one foot.
He stood on one foot.

6. She sanded the change.
She counted the change.

7. She manicured the hatch.
She lowered the hatch.

8. He sharpened a break.
He took a break.

NNM: No/No match (16)

1. She forgave the beam.
She pitied the beam.

2. He proved the stern.
He yelled the stern.

3. She lived in a bolt.
She sailed a bolt.

4. He offended the passage.
He tasted the passage.

5. She drifted the sound.
She tenderized the sound.

6. He scattered the fall.
He congratulated the fall.

7. She threw a project.
She manicured a project.

8. He walked a share.
He defended a share.

9. She drank the spot.
She opened the spot.

10. She argued with the straw.
She locked with the straw.

11. He nodded the wind.
He stared the wind.

12. She stood the will.
She consoled the will.

13. He changed the fresh.
He toasted the fresh.

14. She framed the express.
She smelled the express.

15. He fought the pit.
He scorned the pit.

16. He married the fair.
He disgusted the fair.

YNN: Yes/No mismatch (16)

1. He bought a battery.
He decreased a slug.

2. He survived the blow.
He humiliated the fence.

3. She judged the entry.
She sautéed the record.

4. He questioned the major.
He dressed the refuse.

5. He furnished the room.
He nagged the drop.

6. She traveled to the resort.
She spread to the nap.

7. She received a permit.
She blushed a story.

8. He compiled the list.
He cured the poker.

9. She shattered the light.
She tricked the desert.

10. He signed the deed.
He shouted the gear.

11. She acquired the land.
She coughed the frame.

12. He opened the chest.
He swore it in the rash.

13. She tore her dress.
She spoke her stitch.

14. She sailed into the port.
She rose the mind.

15. He mended the sock.
He crept the rung.

16. She tailored the suit.
She baffled the pole.

NYN: No/Yes mismatch (16)

1. He wept the drum.
He solved the riddle.

2. He combed a letter.
He told a lie.

3. She splashed the novel.
She joined the reserve.

4. He choked the ring.
He enjoyed the concert.

5. She toyed with the lounge.
She interrupted the speaker.

6. He jogged the heat.
He lied on the resume.

7. She shuddered the hood.
She showered before work.

8. She cooked the brush.
She took the call.

9. She rearranged a curb.
She blew a fuse.

10. He wished the craft.
He put out the fire.

11. He pitied the log.
He honked the horn.

12. He stomped a mean.
He ate a nut.

13. She decorated the grind.
She cleaned the mess.

14. She fed her cap.
She bandaged her hand.

15. He boiled the lie.
He starred in the play

16. She intimidated the float.
She walked to the school.

NNN: No/No mismatch (16)

1. She lifted the static.
She filled the mad.

2. He pacified the meal.
He deprived the hamper.

3. She asked the foul.
She ached the dove.

4. He went the comb.
He pointed the junk.

5. She walked the leaf.
She lifted the hang.

6. He sewed the germ.
He sweated the bend.

7. He wrote a felt.
He traversed a dough.

8. He wiped the limp.
He stole the perfect.

9. She unlaced the yard.
She questioned the steep.

10. She held the scratch.
She kept the admit.

11. He amused the hail.
He poked at the drove.

12. He clicked the flat.
He sipped the nail.

13. She typed the fling.
She edged the trial.

14. She devoured the net.
She conspired the panel.

15. She boiled the pass.
She initiated the odd.

16. He wove the ear.
He stung the gall.

YYN: Yes/Yes mismatch (16)

1. He paid the bail.
He joined the band.

2. She swung the bat.
She picked up the pile.

3. She recycled the can.
She cleaned the sewer.

4. She read the palm.
She applied for the patent.

5. He cleaned the rifle.
He lit the incense.

6. He took out the staple.
He ate the prune.

7. She locked the vault.
She sat on the stoop.

8. He bought the pop.
He drank from the tap.

9. She paid the toll.
She hoed the row.

10. She caught the shark.
She inflated the tire.

11. He hammered in the stake.
He brushed the yak.

12. She combed out the snarl.
She deposited the tender.

13. He exchanged the Yen.
He cut down the pine.

14. She sharpened the saw.
She got gas from the pump.

15. He called her a sap.
He ran away from a bear.

16. He fed a crow.
He swam a stroke.


P1. Y
She caught the bass.

P2. N
He argued the stalk.

P3. N
She typed the plot.

P4. Y
She lost a pound.

P5. N
She motioned the mold.

P6. Y
He denied the charge.

P7. Y
He cooked the chop.

P8. N
He raced the interest.