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Title: Semantic size does not matter: "Bigger" words are not recognized faster
Authors: Kang, S.H.K.
Yap, M.J. 
Tse, C.-S.
Kurby, C.A.
Keywords: Lexical decision task
Semantic size
Visual word recognition
Issue Date: Jun-2011
Citation: Kang, S.H.K., Yap, M.J., Tse, C.-S., Kurby, C.A. (2011-06). Semantic size does not matter: "Bigger" words are not recognized faster. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 64 (6) : 1041-1047. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Sereno, O'Donnell, and Sereno (2009) reported that words are recognized faster in a lexical decision task when their referents are physically large than when they are small, suggesting that "semantic size" might be an important variable that should be considered in visual word recognition research and modelling. We sought to replicate their size effect, but failed to find a significant latency advantage in lexical decision for "big" words (cf. "small" words), even though we used the same word stimuli as Sereno et al. and had almost three times as many subjects. We also examined existing data from visual word recognition megastudies (e.g., English Lexicon Project) and found that semantic size is not a significant predictor of lexical decision performance after controlling for the standard lexical variables. In summary, the null results from our lab experiment-despite a much larger subject sample size than Sereno et al.-converged with our analysis of megastudy lexical decision performance, leading us to conclude that semantic size does not matter for word recognition. Discussion focuses on why semantic size (unlike some other semantic variables) is unlikely to play a role in lexical decision. © 2011 The Experimental Psychology Society.
Source Title: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
ISSN: 17470218
DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2011.575947
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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