Memory & Cognition

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 40–46 | Cite as

An odd effect: Lengthened reaction times for judgments about odd digits

  • Terence M. Hines
Article

Abstract

Eight experiments are reported that first establish and then explicate a serendipitous finding that judgments about whether digits are odd or even take longer for odd than for even digits. The slowing of judgments about odd digits is more pronounced when digit pairs or triples are used, but is still weakly present when a single digit must be classified. A similar effect is seen whenjudgments of nouns are based on whether the nouns are the names of living or dead objects. Nouns that name dead objects are judged more slowly than ones that name living objects. The concept “alive” is linguistically marked. Past research has shown that unmarked concepts are processed more rapidly than marked ones. The similarityinthepattera of results when.digits and words are judged is used to argue that the slower judgments about odd digits are due to the fact that “odd” is a linguistically marked and “even” a linguistically unmarked concept.

Keywords

Word Pair Extra Credit Single Digit Subtraction Problem Digit Pair 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Bradshaw, J. L., &Perriment, A. D. (1970). Laterality effects and choice reaction time in a unimanual two-finger task.Perception & Psychophysics,7, 185–188.Google Scholar
  2. Cerella, J. (1985). Information processing rates in the elderly.Psychological Bulletin,98, 67–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Clapp, F. (1924).The number combinations: Their relative difficulty and the frequencyof their appearance in text-books (Bureau of Educat. ional Research Bulletin No. 1). Madison: University of Wisconsin.Google Scholar
  4. Clark, E. (1973). What's in a word?On the child's acquisition ofsemantics in his first language. In T. Moore (Ed.),Cognitive development and the acquisition oflanguage (pp. 65–110). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  5. Clark, H. (1973). Space, time, semantics and the child. In T. Moore (Ed.),Cognitive development and the acquisition of language (pp. 27–63). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  6. Greenberg, J. (1966). Language universals. In T. Sebock (Ed.),Current trends in linguistics (Vol. 3, pp. 61–112). The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
  7. Hines, T., & Clauss, E. (1982, August).The odd-odd effect. Poster presented at the 90th Annual Meeting ofthe American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  8. Hines, T., Poon, L., Cerella, J., &Fozard, J. (1982). Age-related differences in the time course of encoding.Experimental Aging Research,8, 175–178.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Knight, F., &Behrens, M. (1928).The learning of the 100 addition and 100 subtraction combinations. New York: Longmans, Green.Google Scholar
  10. Krueger, L. E. (1986). Why 2×2=5 looks so wrong: On the oddeven rule in product verification.Memory & Cognition,14, 141–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Krueger, L. E., &Hallford, E. W. (1984). Why 2+2=5 looks so wrong: On the odd-even rule in sum verification.Memory & Cognition,12, 171–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Posner, M, &Boies, S. (1971). Components of attention.Psychological Review,78, 391–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Shepard, R., Kilpatric, D., &Cunningham, J. (1975). The internal representation of numbers.Cognitive Psychology,7, 82–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Sherman, M. (1976). Adjectival negation and the comprehension of multiply negated sentences.Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior,15, 143–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Sudevan, P., &Taylor, D. (1987). The cuing and priming ofcognitive operations.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance,13, 89–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Thorndike, E., &Lorge, I. (1944).The teacher's word book of 30,000 words. New York: Columbia University Teachers College.Google Scholar
  17. Umilta, C., Frost, N., &Hyman, R. (1972). Interhemispheric effects on choice reaction times to one-, two-, and three-letter displays.Journal of Experimental Psychology,93, 198–204.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Zimmer, K., (1964). Affixed negation in English and other languages: An investigation of restricted productivity.Word,20(5, No. 2).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terence M. Hines
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentPace UniversityPleasantvile

Personalised recommendations