Semantic fields – How the brain automatically associates the word groups with each other

Schwarz, M./J. Chur (1993): Semantik. Ein Arbeitsbuch [Semantics: A Workbook]. Tübingen: Narr.

Word experiments with the “priming method” – this implies the facilitation of the responses of our nervous system through specific stimuli – have proven the existence of semantic networks. “In this test method, a word (e.g. DOCTOR) is specified as a prime to the test persons, subsequently, another word (e.g. NURSE or FLOWER) is named as the target word. The test persons were instructed earlier to specify as quickly as possible (by pressing a button), whether the specified target word is a meaningful word or whether it is only a meaningless sequence of syllables.  

The lexical decision takes less time, if the prime word has a close semantic relationship with the target word. DOCTOR and NURSE belong to one semantic field (hospital staff), DOCTOR and FLOWER do not.” (Chur, 2014). If we consider, which associations can be ascribed to the semantic network related to the word "Emperor" as a “prime word”, a lot of target words come to mind: Splendor, crown, wealth, gold, jewels, power, greatness, victory, palace, noble, etc.