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The Effect On Word Recognition Of The Frequency Of Word Association

Herbert S. Gross

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The subjects' task in the present experiment was the recognition of the second of a pair of freely associated words, tachistoscopically presented. A stimulus word from a word association test is used as a “set-inducing” word. It was predicted that response words which are frequent associates of the set-inducing word would be more quickly recognized than response words that are infrequently associated with the set-inducing word. High-frequency associates were found to yield shorter recognition times than two other classes of matched infrequent associates and the results are significant beyond the 0.05 level.