What's in a meme? Internal letter transposition, word length and eye-voice span

Hendry, Liam and Lax, M. and Stubberfield, T. (2010) What's in a meme? Internal letter transposition, word length and eye-voice span. In: 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology, 11-16 July 2010, Melbourne, Australia.

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Abstract

To investigate if internal letter transposition (ILT) decreased reading performance and memory output in a rehearsal-free memory task using the eye-voice span (EVS) as the measure. The major source was an internet meme (a rumour, urban legend or concept propagated via email) suggesting that ILT did not affect reading performance, provided the initial and final letters in words remained unchanged. An Interrupted Reading Task (IRT) tested the concept of the original meme. Reading speed, number of words output and output duration were measured by analysing sound files recorded from the IRT. The IRT presented text passages on a computer screen to participants, who immediately began reading them aloud, until a predetermined point at which the experimenter caused the text to disappear from view, replacing it with a random pattern mask, while participants continued reading aloud for as long as they could. Text passages were designed so that the words following the interruption were either mostly long (3 or more syllables) or short (one syllable). Additionally, passages were either presented as unmodified text or as ILT stimuli, where the internal letters were randomised whilst leaving the initial and final letters intact. Word length was manipulated within subjects, and ILT condition between subjects in a mixed ANOVA. Recorded output represents the contents of the EVS, which relates to short term memory capacity. Significant main effects obtained for both the ILT manipulation (ILT worse) and word length (long words worse) on the measures of number of words output and output duration, as well as a significant interaction showing the ILT further reduced output measures when passages contained longer words. A significant difference in reading speed was evident, with ILT passages read much slower than unmodified text. Data and analyses support both the DRC model of reading (Coltheart et al., 2001) and a global account of word recognition (Frankish & Barnes, 2008) as well as reiterating the robust and wellknown Word Length Effect (WLE; as noted in Baddeley et al., 1975) – however the IRT is a rehearsal-free task and as such the results do not support rehearsal accounts of the WLE. The content of the original meme is, unsurprisingly, refuted by these data.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Speech)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Only abstracts published in conference proceedings, as supplied here.
Depositing User: Mrs Melissa Jarick
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2010 02:06
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2011 00:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: internal letter transposition (ILT), reading performance, eye-voice span (EVS), internet meme
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170299 Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/8617

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