We accept

What effect will the word superiority have?

This analysis analysed the type of term superiority results (WSE) which was first developed by Adam Cattell in 1886. WSE is the capability to recognise letters more successfully if the individual letters are presented as part of word somewhat than as part of a non-word or an isolated notice. The study tested the WSE on 97 members to replicate Cattell's theory. In replicating the hypothesis for Cattell's WSE, participants chose a letter from 2 alternatives that best resembled a notice from a genuine presented stimulus; that was later masked after display. Results indicated an effect was apparent when you compare words to non-words but no noticeable relevance was found when comparing words and single characters. Overall results indicated that mean correctness rates per condition were too similar to support the theory tested. Discussions have been made on possible flaws resulting in the inconclusive results; including the easy mother nature of jobs performed, as well as suggestions for future analysis procedures.

What effect does indeed word superiority have?

Word superiority result (WSE) was first recognised to be an area of trend by Wayne Cattell in 1886 (Reicher, 1969). As theorised by Cattell (1886) when seeking to recognise characters that contain been presented as part of a stimulus, letter recognition is more lucrative if the individual letter is in the beginning presented within a word rather than if provided as part of a non-word or as an isolated letter.

Reicher (1969) designed an experiment to test Cattell's theory, however Reicher hypothesised that the effect Cattell achieved may have been caused due to the individuals inferring of missing letters based on the letters surrounding it. To be able to overcome this redundancy result, his experiment provided alternative letters that when chosen; either choice letter chosen created a known expression. In his research Reicher presented random stimuli to members that either resembled 4 notice words, 4 letter non-words or an individual notice. His results found that when masked after presentation, participants more accurately chose correct characters when initially shown within a word in comparison to when presented as a non-word or solitary letter; aiding Cattell's theory.

According to Sperling (1963, 1967) when offered these words and words, participants store this information in the visual information storage system (VIS); however further expresses that this storage space is fast decaying and this information is lost while responding to alternative choices. Therefore, resulting in participants incorrectly choosing the correct characters from the alternatives shown. Estes and Taylor (1966) further elaborated on Sperling's observations by executing their own analysis which found that accuracy and reliability levels in the storage area of the information was more afflicted when target stimuli was shown in longer strings of words.

Rumelhart and McClelland (1982) recognized the recognition routine used in the identification process of these words through what they termed the parallel distributed control model (PDP). This model states that the information we visualise is prepared in a series of hierarchical levels by the mind. When participants first visualise the notice "A" the average person characteristics of the words shown (e. g. / \ -) excites the first level called the feature level. Once excited, the feature level directs forward the control to the next level termed the letter level. In cases like this the illustrated types of / \ - are recognized as being area of the letter "A". Once the "A" has been founded it excites the higher level control termed the term level. This "A" is then recognized as being part of words that are stored at the word level such as "BANK" or "TANK" etc.

These hierarchical levels interact with each other using what is known as excitatory or inhibitory links. In the event the characteristics at each level are recognised as matching top level requirements, then your next levels control are excited. If they are not recognised as being within the next level the features elicit an inhibitory signal. The mixture of these inhibitory and excitatory relationships helps to recognise the viewed letters. The idea behind PDP model in addition has been agreed upon by other experts (Sperling, 1967). However Estes and Taylor (1966) add that even in a PDP model, you may still find limits to the number of information that may be manipulated.

An extension to the PDP model, as mentioned by McClelland (1976) is that with regards to WSE; the PDP model will not necessarily require the words shown to be complete. They explained that once feature levels accepted what the key nodes were being presented, the higher notice and phrase levels could actually establish a routine that best resembled words and words stored.

In their review they tested the WSE by manipulating the letter-cases which were provided. Hypothesising that even when merged letter-cases were shown, known words would be better accepted than pseudowords. Results discovered that accuracy in mixed letter-case known words had higher accuracy than blended letter-case pseudowords. Also exposed was that whenever tests same letter-case and combined letter-case known words, same letter-case known words had much higher precision than blended letter-case known words. This recognized the WSE by showing that even though visual construction was disrupted; it didn't affect the feature and notice degrees of the PDP model

Other areas of interest that were proposed to make a difference factors were the problems of word rate of recurrence and phrase inferiority. Corresponding to Peterzell, Sinclair, Healy and Bourne (1990) during everyday occurrence individuals use words that are normal to our each day language and they are more accurately recognized with. They call such words high occurrence words. Another happening they interpreted was the results of a term inferiority effect. They explain letters which form part of an incorrectly spelled phrase are more accurately recognised and appreciated than letters that are part of appropriately spelled words.

In their study they examined the WSE on its regards to word frequency impact. Acknowledging Cattell's and Reicher's theory that words were more accurately identified as part of known words in comparison to non-words and one letters, they theorised that another degree of WSE happened with common known words and uncommon known words.

They tested participants accuracy and reliability in recognising the letters (h, e, i, o) that happened in the middle of stimulus words (the, tee, tie up and toe). It was hypothesised that a WSE would become more accurate in identifying the notice "h" in the word "the" because it was one of the most typical words found in the everyday language. Results suggested support for their hypothesis; resulting in the final outcome that common words such as "the" were prepared as single models before the processing of individuals letters.

Based on Cattell's theory that words are accepted more effectively when presented within a word in comparison to single notice or unknown expression, this test was constructed to check this final result. Two hypotheses are being analyzed within this research. First of all it's hypothesised that individuals will more accurately identify letters that are offered in the framework of a word than the reliability level when offered as a non-word. Second it's hypothesised that individuals could be more accurate in determining characters that are provided in the framework of a phrase than as an individual letter.



Participants made up of 97 voluntary 2nd year college or university students that went to selected experimental classes. Years and gender of participants varied over the sample tested, as no selection standards were imposed.

Material and Design

Computer programs utilising WSE were used to test participants' responses. The experiment included a repeated procedures design that consisted of random independent adjustable stimuli being provided in 48 studies. In controlling the consequences of tiredness and practice, the study designed a simultaneous design composition; whereby all 3 target stimuli conditions were provided simultaneously within the one testing program. The independent adjustable manipulated within the analysis was a concentrate on stimulus that consisted of 3 conditions; either being a 4 letter phrase, 4 letter non-word or a single alphabet notice. The dependent varying tested was the accuracy level of properly choosing the right notice that was in the beginning presented as part of the stimulus; from 2 given alternatives.


Using computer packages, participants were offered a complete of 48 stimuli with each stimulus condition being arbitrarily provided 16 times each. Each stimulus shown was the 4 letter expression, 4 letter non-word or a single letter. Upon demonstration of a random stimulus for 100ms, the stimulus was then masked with hash icons. On top of the masked stimulus, another 2 single letters were shown. One of the letters provided was part of the masked stimulus as the other letter was absent. Participants had to correctly choose the letter that best corresponded as part of the preliminary presented stimulus. Individuals do this by either selecting the designated button matching to top of the or bottom notice. Upon completion, the number of correct choices manufactured in each stimulus condition of the IV was produced; with a maximum total of 16 correct possible choices in each IV condition. Honest requirements of the study regarding participants consent and research debriefing were also achieved.


Table 1.

Mean Amount of Correctly Identified Words per Condition

Stimulus Mean Number of Standard

Condition Correct Answers Deviation

4 Letter Phrase 15. 08 1. 31

4 Notice Non-Word 13. 81 1. 86

Single Notice 15. 18 1. 16

Note: N = 97

As shown in stand 1, the data consists of the mean amount of correctly guessed words as a function of the various stimulus conditions provided. In general it was discovered that with the display of the various stimulus conditions, the average number of appropriately guessed words per condition was found to be similar. Participants' variability in general was also found to be small within each condition. A within organizations ANOVA established that there is significant variations in accuracy when you compare term to non-words, t (96) = 7. 82, p <. 05 along with a significant difference when comparing single characters with non-words, t (96) = 7. 29, p <. 05. On the other hand when comparing words to single words, it was discovered that no significant difference in correctness was present, t (96) = -. 621, p >. 05.


Although it was backed that letter popularity was more accurate when recognized in the framework of a word when compared to a non-word, letter accuracy and reliability was inconclusive when it comes to being more accurately chosen in the context of a expression compared to that of an individual notice. A possible explanation could be discussed by Sperling (1963) who claims that within our VIS any image that sometimes appears by the eye is still available in your brain after the stimulus is removed for a fraction of another longer. In the study although 4 letter known words may have been high rate of recurrence words and should have been recognized easier than other stimulus displayed, the actual fact still remained that following the presentation was masked; each stimulus image was burnt into the VIS for just that few moments much longer that was needed for recall. A solution for future studies is always to put in a distracter item like a number demonstration between masking and demonstration of alternatives

Another possible reason the results didn't support the hypothesis was that the duty performed was too easy in dynamics for the experiment. Together with the mean scores depicting near perfect results, it can be seen that the jobs performed was easily beat by the members; producing a ceiling effect growing.

Future studies could benefit from trying to make the task conducted more difficult. Possible solutions to accomplish that could be by showing stimulus words and non-words that are much longer than simply 4 letter words. This might aid the analysis by forcing participants to evaluate if the alternative choices shown were present in a longer stringed stimulus rather than from just 4 letters. Alternatively presenting more possible answers to choose from, as opposed to the current 2 choice possibilities will make the task more appropriate. This would induce individuals to compare more letters concurrently to the presented stimulus.

However the easiest way to boost the accuracy of the analysis without adjusting other characteristics of the studies is simply by increasing the number of trials that are present within each condition. However this may present a confounding issue due to tiredness effects.

In order to determine the effectiveness of these recommendation, a pilot review could be utilised. Pilot studies may help determine the appropriate length of words, the amount of alternatives answers and the correct number of trials per condition that should be used to accomplish a challenging yet fair experiment for the overall population. In conclusion WSE can be an area that warrants further looking into and although this study didn't support the hypothesis, numerous research conducted previously have shown great support into explaining the intricate procedures that are present regarding visual control and the WSE.

More than 7 000 students trust us to do their work
90% of customers place more than 5 orders with us
Special price $5 /page
Check the price
for your assignment