Lexical decision tasks are often combined with other experimental techniques, such as priming , in which the subject is 'primed' with a certain stimulus before the actual lexical decision task has to be performed. In this way, it has been shown    that subjects are faster to respond to words when they are first shown a semantically related prime: participants are faster to confirm "nurse" as a word when it is preceded by "doctor" than when it is preceded by "butter". This is one example of the phenomenon of priming .
This contrasts with a view among non-linguists, at least in the United States, that languages as ideal systems exist outside the actual practice of language users: Based on work done in the US, Nancy Niedzielski and Dennis Preston describe a language ideology that appears to be common among American English speakers. According to Niedzielski and Preston, many of their subjects believe that there is one "correct" pattern of grammar and vocabulary that underlies Standard English , and that individual usage derives from this external system.