Word-frequency effect in lexical decision: finding a frequency-based component

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Publication Type Journal Article
School or College College of Education
Department Educational Psychology
Creator Gardner Michael K.
Other Author Rothkopf, E. Z; Lapan, Richard; Lafferty, Toby
Title Word-frequency effect in lexical decision: finding a frequency-based component
Date 1987
Description Subjects making lexical decisions are reliably faster in responding to high-frequency words than to low-frequency words. This is known as the word frequency effect. We wished to demonstrate that some portion of this effect was due to frequency differences between words rather than to other dimensions correlated with word frequency. Three groups of subjects (10 engineers, 10 nurses, and 10 law students) made lexical decisions about 720 items, half words and half nonwords, from six different categories (engineering, medical, low-frequency nontechnical, medium-frequency nontechnical, and two groups of high-frequency nontechnical). Results of t w o analyses of variance revealed a crossover interaction such that engineers were faster in responding to engineering words than to medical words, whereas nurses were faster in responding to medical words than to engineering words. The engineering and medical words were equally long and equally infrequent by standard word counts. We take this as support for a frequency-based component in the word frequency effect. The practical implications of this research for estimating the readability of technical text are discussed.
Type Text
Publisher Psychonomic Society Publications
Volume 15
Issue 1
First Page 24
Last Page 28
Subject Stimulus; Interaction; Variance
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Gardner, M. K., Rothkopf, E. Z., Lapan, R., & Lafferty, T. (1987). Word-frequency effect in lexical decision: finding a frequency-based component. Memory & Cognition, 15(1), 24-8.
Rights Management (c) Psychonomic Society Publications
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 2,871,804 bytes
Identifier ir-main,3575
ARK ark:/87278/s6n594qm
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2012-06-13
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 704833
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6n594qm