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The impact of word prevalence on lexical decision times: evidence from the Dutch Lexicon Project 2

Marc Brysbaert (UGent) , Michaël Stevens (UGent) , Pawel Mandera (UGent) and Emmanuel Keuleers (UGent)
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Abstract
Keuleers, Stevens, Mandera, and Brysbaert (2015) presented a new variable, word prevalence, defined as word knowledge in the population. Some words are known to more people than other. This is particularly true for low-frequency words (e.g., screenshot vs. scourage). In the present study, we examined the impact of the measure by collecting lexical decision times for 30,000 Dutch word lemmas of various lengths (the Dutch Lexicon Project 2). Word prevalence had the second highest correlation with lexical decision times (after word frequency): Words known by everyone in the population were responded to 100 ms faster than words known to only half of the population, even after controlling for word frequency, word length, age of acquisition, similarity to other words, and concreteness. Because word prevalence has rather low correlations with the existing measures (including word frequency), the unique variance it contributes to lexical decision times is higher than that of the other variables. We consider the reasons why word prevalence has an impact on word processing times and we argue that it is likely to be the most important new variable protecting researchers against experimenter bias in selecting stimulus materials.
Keywords
READING-ALOUD, ENGLISH WORDS, BIG DATA, ORTHOGRAPHIC SIMILARITY, RECOGNIZED FASTER, FREQUENCY NORMS, TELL US, ACQUISITION, AGE, LANGUAGE, word recognition, lexical decision, word prevalence, megastudies

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Chicago
Brysbaert, Marc, Michaël Stevens, Pawel Mandera, and Emmanuel Keuleers. 2016. “The Impact of Word Prevalence on Lexical Decision Times: Evidence from the Dutch Lexicon Project 2.” Journal of Experimental Psychology-human Perception and Performance 42 (3): 441–458.
APA
Brysbaert, M., Stevens, M., Mandera, P., & Keuleers, E. (2016). The impact of word prevalence on lexical decision times: evidence from the Dutch Lexicon Project 2. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE, 42(3), 441–458.
Vancouver
1.
Brysbaert M, Stevens M, Mandera P, Keuleers E. The impact of word prevalence on lexical decision times: evidence from the Dutch Lexicon Project 2. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE. 2016;42(3):441–58.
MLA
Brysbaert, Marc, Michaël Stevens, Pawel Mandera, et al. “The Impact of Word Prevalence on Lexical Decision Times: Evidence from the Dutch Lexicon Project 2.” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE 42.3 (2016): 441–458. Print.
@article{7257656,
  abstract     = {Keuleers, Stevens, Mandera, and Brysbaert (2015) presented a new variable, word prevalence, defined as word knowledge in the population. Some words are known to more people than other. This is particularly true for low-frequency words (e.g., screenshot vs. scourage). In the present study, we examined the impact of the measure by collecting lexical decision times for 30,000 Dutch word lemmas of various lengths (the Dutch Lexicon Project 2). Word prevalence had the second highest correlation with lexical decision times (after word frequency): Words known by everyone in the population were responded to 100 ms faster than words known to only half of the population, even after controlling for word frequency, word length, age of acquisition, similarity to other words, and concreteness. Because word prevalence has rather low correlations with the existing measures (including word frequency), the unique variance it contributes to lexical decision times is higher than that of the other variables. We consider the reasons why word prevalence has an impact on word processing times and we argue that it is likely to be the most important new variable protecting researchers against experimenter bias in selecting stimulus materials.},
  author       = {Brysbaert, Marc and Stevens, Micha{\"e}l and Mandera, Pawel and Keuleers, Emmanuel},
  issn         = {0096-1523},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE},
  keyword      = {READING-ALOUD,ENGLISH WORDS,BIG DATA,ORTHOGRAPHIC SIMILARITY,RECOGNIZED FASTER,FREQUENCY NORMS,TELL US,ACQUISITION,AGE,LANGUAGE,word recognition,lexical decision,word prevalence,megastudies},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {441--458},
  title        = {The impact of word prevalence on lexical decision times: evidence from the Dutch Lexicon Project 2},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xhp0000159},
  volume       = {42},
  year         = {2016},
}

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