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Thread: Lexical Decision Task for Success/Failure Focus

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Lexical Decision Task for Success/Failure Focus

    Below is a posting to the SPSP listserv that I made recently regarding the creating and use of a word list to use in a lexical decision taks measuring whether people focus on success or failure. Attached is a copy of the direct RT input file. Hope this is helpful to anyone wanting to make their own LDT!

    Thanks to all who replied to my request for stimulus words to be used in a
    lexical decision task of success/failure focus. Many excellent suggestions
    were offered. Several individuals were interested in the final product
    (i.e., the stimulus list) of this query...

    Nobody had exactly what I was looking for, so I set out to make my own list.
    Catalina Kopetz suggested that I have students provide words that to them
    best matched these categories, as has been done in some prior studies of
    this nature. I took this advice and had students read scenarios in which
    they scored either significantly higher or significantly lower than a group
    of students on a test of mental ability. They were asked to think of as many
    words as they could to describe how they would feel in this situation and
    how they would describe their performance. I paid particular attention to
    the most commonly occuring words. I also added a few words that my research
    assistants and I thought up. I then collected measures of frequency,
    familiarity, and length for as many of the words as possible (some cognitive
    research suggests that these 3 variables account for the majority of
    variance in LDT reaction time). I reduced the total list to a set 96 words
    (32 success/32 failure/32 neutral) that were matched in terms of freq, fam,
    and length (Fs < 1). I then matched each word with a pronounceable non-word
    of the same length. This resulted in a total of
    192 words (96 words/96 non-words).

    Attached is a direct RT input file (csv format) that contains these words
    set up to be used in a LDT task.

    To anyone considering using these words in there own research, a few notes
    of caution. First, some of the words, particularly the longer ones, were not
    included in the CELEX or Kucera-Francis frequency database, or any of the
    familiarity databases. Therefore, the comparisons reported above do not
    include these words. It is unknown how their inclusion might affect the
    comparisons. Second, these words, as a group, have not been used in
    research, so whether or not there will be reaction time differences
    unrelated to social/personality factors is unknown. I'd obviously be
    interested in learning what people find if they do use these words. Third,
    measuring age of acquisition is a controversial topic in cognitive
    psychology and it is unknown how much this variable is affected by
    familiarity, frequency, etc. Thus, I did not attempt to match these words on
    AOA. However, some reviewers are insistent that AOA be accounted for. You
    may want to assess AOA on your own. Something similar might be suggested for
    imageability, concreteness, etc.

    Again, thanks to all who replied. This has been an excellent learning
    experience. I have a new respect for cognitive psychology (one researcher
    told me that he regularly matches on 20 or more variables!).
    Below are some links to websites that were suggested to me by members of
    this list and various cognitive psychologists, and that I found useful.

    Psychonomic Society Archive of Norms, Stimuli, and Data

    English Lexicon Project

    MRC Psycholinguistic Database

    ARC Non-word Database

    University of South Florida Free Association Norms


    Colin Davis's Homepage (has a program, N-Watch, that provides various
    psycholiguistic norms)
    Attached Files Attached Files

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