Effects of the psycholinguistic variables on the lexical decision task in Spanish: A study with 2,765 words
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In order to explore the role of the main psycholinguistic variables on visual word recognition, several mega-studies have been conducted in English in recent years. Nevertheless, because the effects of these variables depend on the regularity of the orthographic system, studies must also be done in other languages with different characteristics. The goal of this work was to conduct a lexical decision study in Spanish, a language with a shallow orthography and a high number of words. The influence of psycholinguistic variables on latencies corresponding to 2,765 words was assessed by means of linear mixed-effects modeling. The results show that some variables, such as frequency or age of acquisition, have significant effects on reaction times regardless of the type of words used. Other variables, such as orthographic neighborhood or imageability, were significant only in specific groups of words. Our results highlight the importance of taking into account the peculiarities of each spelling system in the development of reading models.
KeywordsSpanish Lexical decision Age of acquisition Word frequency Length
This research was supported by Grant MCI-PSI2009-09299 from the Spanish Government. We thank the Statistical Consulting Unit (UCE) of the University of Oviedo for their help with the statistical analyzes and their valuable suggestions about the methodology.
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