Correct recognition of originally presented words or their synonyms, and false recognition of their antonyms, was tested by forced choice among original word, antonym and two distractors, or among synonym, antonym, and two distractors, after study of original words alone, after synonym generation, and after antonym generation. Synonym recognition was as good as recognition of original words only when synonyms were generated during presentation. Generating antonyms decreased recognition of original words but not of synonyms, which always were chosen more often than antonyms. Words appear to be represented and related by component features rather than as unitary elements or concepts.
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