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Title: The word frequency effect during sentence reading: A linear or nonlinear effect of log frequency?
Authors: White, Sarah J.
Drieghe, Denis
Liversedge, Simon P.
Staub, Adrian
First Published: 20-Oct-2016
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Citation: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2016, in press
Abstract: The effect of word frequency on eye movement behaviour during reading has been reported in many experimental studies. However, the vast majority of these studies compared only two levels of word frequency (high and low). Here we assess whether the effect of log word frequency on eye movement measures is linear, in an experiment in which a critical target word in each sentence was at one of three approximately equally spaced log frequency levels. Separate analyses treated log frequency as a categorical or a continuous predictor. Both analyses showed only a linear effect of log frequency on the likelihood of skipping a word, and on first fixation duration. Ex-Gaussian analyses of first fixation duration showed similar effects on distributional parameters in comparing high- and medium-frequency words, and medium- and low-frequency words. Analyses of gaze duration and the probability of a refixation suggested a nonlinear pattern, with a larger effect at the lower end of the log frequency scale. However, the nonlinear effects were small, and Bayes Factor analyses favoured the simpler linear models for all measures. The possible roles of lexical and post-lexical factors in producing nonlinear effects of log word frequency during sentence reading are discussed.
DOI Link: 10.1080/17470218.2016.1240813
ISSN: 1747-0218
eISSN: 1747-0226
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © Taylor & Francis, 2016. This version of the article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License ( ), which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Description: The file associated with this record is embargoed until 12 months after the date of publication. The final published version may be available through the links above. Following the embargo period the above license applies.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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