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Do the effects of subjective frequency and age of acquisition survive better word frequency norms?

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Abstract
Megastudies with processing efficiency measures for thousands of words allow researchers to assess the quality of the word features they are using. In this article, we analyse reading aloud and lexical decision reaction times and accuracy rates for 2,336 words to assess the influence of subjective frequency and age of acquisition on performance. Specifically, we compare newly presented word frequency measures with the existing frequency norms of Kucera and Francis (1967), HAL (Burgess Livesay, 1998), Brysbaert and New (2009), and Zeno, Ivens, Millard, and Duvvuri (1995). We show that the use of the Kucera and Francis word frequency measure accounts for much less variance than the other word frequencies, which leaves more variance to be oexplainedo by familiarity ratings and age-of-acquisition ratings. We argue that subjective frequency ratings are no longer needed if researchers have good objective word frequency counts. The effect of age of acquisition remains significant and has an effect size that is of practical relevance, although it is substantially smaller than that of the first phoneme in naming and the objective word frequency in lexical decision. Thus, our results suggest that models of word processing need to utilize these recently developed frequency estimates during training or setting baseline activation levels in the lexicon.
Keywords
LEXICAL-DECISION, MONOSYLLABIC WORDS, RECOGNITION, ENGLISH, CONCRETENESS, FAMILIARITY, HYPOTHESIS, NETWORKS, FRANCIS, KUCERA, Word frequency, Familiarity, Age of acquisition, Word recognition

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Chicago
Brysbaert, Marc, and Michael J Cortese. 2011. “Do the Effects of Subjective Frequency and Age of Acquisition Survive Better Word Frequency Norms?” Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 64 (3): 545–559.
APA
Brysbaert, M., & Cortese, M. J. (2011). Do the effects of subjective frequency and age of acquisition survive better word frequency norms? QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, 64(3), 545–559.
Vancouver
1.
Brysbaert M, Cortese MJ. Do the effects of subjective frequency and age of acquisition survive better word frequency norms? QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. 2011;64(3):545–59.
MLA
Brysbaert, Marc, and Michael J Cortese. “Do the Effects of Subjective Frequency and Age of Acquisition Survive Better Word Frequency Norms?” QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 64.3 (2011): 545–559. Print.
@article{2001936,
  abstract     = {Megastudies with processing efficiency measures for thousands of words allow researchers to assess the quality of the word features they are using. In this article, we analyse reading aloud and lexical decision reaction times and accuracy rates for 2,336 words to assess the influence of subjective frequency and age of acquisition on performance. Specifically, we compare newly presented word frequency measures with the existing frequency norms of Kucera and Francis (1967), HAL (Burgess Livesay, 1998), Brysbaert and New (2009), and Zeno, Ivens, Millard, and Duvvuri (1995). We show that the use of the Kucera and Francis word frequency measure accounts for much less variance than the other word frequencies, which leaves more variance to be oexplainedo by familiarity ratings and age-of-acquisition ratings. We argue that subjective frequency ratings are no longer needed if researchers have good objective word frequency counts. The effect of age of acquisition remains significant and has an effect size that is of practical relevance, although it is substantially smaller than that of the first phoneme in naming and the objective word frequency in lexical decision. Thus, our results suggest that models of word processing need to utilize these recently developed frequency estimates during training or setting baseline activation levels in the lexicon.},
  articleno    = {PII 925511399},
  author       = {Brysbaert, Marc and Cortese, Michael J},
  issn         = {1747-0218},
  journal      = {QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY},
  keyword      = {LEXICAL-DECISION,MONOSYLLABIC WORDS,RECOGNITION,ENGLISH,CONCRETENESS,FAMILIARITY,HYPOTHESIS,NETWORKS,FRANCIS,KUCERA,Word frequency,Familiarity,Age of acquisition,Word recognition},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {PII 925511399:545--PII 925511399:559},
  title        = {Do the effects of subjective frequency and age of acquisition survive better word frequency norms?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2010.503374},
  volume       = {64},
  year         = {2011},
}

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