Effects of high and low frequency differentials on verbal discrimination learning
Kemlein, Donald Fleetwood
Arima, James K.
Neil, Douglas E.
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Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of two background frequency differentials on verbal discrimination learning. Two 16 item-word lists were constructed. In the high differential (HD) list were word pairs in which the relative background frequency of the two words in each pair was at least 5 to 1. The low differential (LD) list was made up of word pairs in which the frequency differential was 2 to 1 or less. The experiments investigated the difference in learning rates between the HD and LD conditions. High frequency word correct (HL) and low frequency word correct (LH) conditions were also examined. Results were evaluated not only on the number of correct responses, but also on the uncertainty remaining after each trial. The HD condition was found to be easier to learn than the LD at the .10 level of significance; the HL condition was significantly easier than the LH at the .05 level. Overall, the background frequency of words influenced VD learning such that learning appeared to ·be faster with HD word pairs in which the H word had been designated as correct.
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