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Word-superiority effect. The study of Reicher (1969): With a tachistoscope , the author presented very briefly four-letter words (e.g., WORD), four-letter nonwords composed of the same letters as the words (e.g., OWRD), and single letters (e.g., D), and then masked . . Contributor.

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word superiority effect
Word-superiority effect

The study of Reicher (1969):

With a tachistoscope, the author presented very briefly four-letter words (e.g., WORD), four-letter nonwords composed of the same letters as the words (e.g., OWRD), and single letters (e.g., D), and then masked.

Contributor

© POSbase 2003

word superiority effect2
Word-superiority effect

After each presentation of a stimulus, he presented two letters, the one presented in the stimulus before, and a new one. Participants had to choose the letter presented before. The word stimuli were chosen so that there was another word which contains the other letter. For example, if the word WORD was shown, and the test stimuli were D and K, the other word was WORK.

© POSbase 2003

word superiority effect3
Word-superiority effect

We see next an idealized demonstration of the experiment. The presentation time for the stimulus is too long.

Please look at the cross in the center of the screen:

D

K

D

E

D

Y

OWRD

PONY

E

The right letter was Y, the word shown was PONY, the possible alternative word POND.

The right letter was E.

The right letter was D, the nonword shown was OWRD, the possible alternative nonword OWRK (from WORK).

© POSbase 2003

word superiority effect4
Word-superiority effect

Reicher found that the letters were chosen with higher accuracy after a word rather a nonword was shown.

More surprisingly, participants chose letters with higher accuracy after a word rather a single letter was shown.

© POSbase 2003

word superiority effect5
Word-superiority effect

This effect has been named the word-superiority effect and demonstrates the role of top-down processing in object identification:

A word is a context in which the letter is embedded; this context facilitates word identification, in comparison to the presentation of a single letter.

The effect can be obtained with presentations on a computer screen (Prinzmetal, 1992).

© POSbase 2003