Novelty and processing demands in conceptual combination

Ramm, Brentyn J. and Halford, Graeme S. (2012) Novelty and processing demands in conceptual combination. Australian Journal of Psychology, 64 4: 199-208. doi:10.1111/j.1742-9536.2012.00053.x

Author Ramm, Brentyn J.
Halford, Graeme S.
Title Novelty and processing demands in conceptual combination
Journal name Australian Journal of Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-9530
Publication date 2012-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1742-9536.2012.00053.x
Volume 64
Issue 4
Start page 199
End page 208
Total pages 10
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract In this article, we sought to isolate the processing demands of combining the concepts of modifier-noun phrases from those of other language comprehension processes. Probe reaction time (RT) was used as an indication of the processing resources required for combining concepts. Phrase frequency (as measured by Google hit rates) was used as a metric of the degree of conceptual combination required for each phrase. Participants were asked to interpret modifier-noun phrases using a sense-nonsense decision (Experiment 1) and a phrase meaning access task (Experiment 2). Experiment 2 also used a lexical decision task to activate the word’s individual meanings. Regression analyses for both experiments indicated that phrase frequency (indicating novelty) predicts a significant portion of the probe RT variance, such that low-frequency phrases required more processing resources than high-frequency phrases, when controlling for associative strength, word frequency, letter length, and lexical-semantic activation. Overall, this study indicates that conceptual combination requires processing resources beyond those of other language processes.
Keyword conceptual combination
probe reaction time
processing demands
working memory
Working-Memory Constraints
Noun Combinations
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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