Word Frequency and the Generation Effect Essay

1999 Words Mar 21st, 2012 8 Pages


This report aimed to investigate the generation effect occurs for low frequency words. The experiment used a sample of 117 second year Research Method students from Birkbeck Univerity in within and between subject design. There were two independent variables, read and generate items and two dependant variables, low and high frequency. This data was analyzed with related sample t test to examine whether the generation effect occurs for low frequency words and independent sample t test to investigate whether there is a difference between generation effect with low and high frequency words. The results show that there is significant difference between generate and read condition
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One within subject design (read vs. generate) and one between subject design (high frequency vs. low frequency). There were two independent variables: read items and generate items. The dependant variables were the level of frequency for read words and the level of frequency for generated words. Participants were assigned randomly to receive high or low frequency.


Before the experiment started all students were provided with stimuli paper but were not allowed to look at it until the experiment started. The stimuli was a list of words typed one under the other on the left side of the paper. Participants were given the instructions from the lecturer. Once they turned over the sheet they had to copy the words or to reverse the initial letters of underlined words and to write a response approximately 10 centimetres from right side of the paper. Every 4.5 seconds the experimenter tapped hands loudly and the participant had to move to the next word. When all students finished writing they were destructed by a 10 minute lecture on equations. Than they were given a free recall test. Their task was to write down all remembered words and state which were generated and whether they were low or high frequency.


The Related sample t test was performed to examine whether the generation effect occurs for low frequency words.

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|Paired Samples

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