ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

2pSC1. Effects of modality on subjective estimates of frequency and recency of spoken and printed words.

Daniel E. Gaygen

Paul A. Luce

Language Perception Lab., Dept. of Psychology, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260

Previous research (Pisoni and Garber, 1990; Garber and Pisoni, 1991) has demonstrated that subjective familiarity judgments for words are not differentially affected by the modality (visual or auditory) in which the words are presented, suggesting that subjects base their judgments on fairly abstract, modality-independent representations in memory. However, in a recent large scale study in Japanese (Amano et al., in press), markedly modality effects on familiarity ratings were observed. The current research further examines possible modality differences in subjective ratings and their implications for word recognition. Specially selected words were presented to subjects for frequency and recency judgments. In particular, subjects were asked how frequently (or recently) they READ, WROTE, HEARD, or SAID a given spoken or printed word. These ratings were then used to predict accuracy and processing times in auditory and visual lexical decision and naming tasks. Our results suggest modality dependence for some lexical representations, primarily for words that occur fairly rarely in the language. [Work supported by NIDCD.]