Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology


The effects of congruency, target percentage and target location on judgments of relative frequency were examined. A stimulus consisted of a set of 24 words ("ABOVE"/"BELOW") with asterisks located either on top or underneath the words. The stimulus sets were presented on a computer monitor for 1.50 seconds. Subjects had to judge the frequency of their target (asterisks-above or asterisks-below) at the end of each trial. Forty-eight of the trials were 100% congruent (word and asterisk location with relation to the word indicated same location) and 48 of the trials were 50% congruent and 50% non-congruent. The results indicated that target percentage had a significant effect on judgments of relative frequency. Absolute error appeared higher in the 58.33% and 66.67% conditions for the initial 48 trials. When all 96 trials were analyzed, absolute error appeared higher in the middle range of target percentage (41.67% and 58.33%). In the first 48 trials a significant interaction between congruency and target location was found. Standard deviation of absolute error seemed higher for asterisk-below subjects under 50% congruent condition but the reverse was true under 100% congruent condition. A main effect of target percentage was also found. Subjects tended to overestimate the actual percentage of their assigned target if the actual percentage was less than 50%. Underestimation was apparent when the actual percentage of the target was over 50% and appeared to be a steady decrease in mean error from the 33.33% to the 66.67% target percentages. A significant interaction between target percentage and target location showed a wider range of mean error for asterisk-below subjects. Estimates were fairly close for subjects regardless of their assigned targets at the 33.33% and 41.67% conditions. Asterisk-below subjects, however tended to underestimate more than asterisk-above subjects under the 58.33% and 66.67% conditions. Similar results were found when the initial 48 trials were analyzed. For the initial 48 trials, a significant interaction between congruency and target location was found. Standard deviation of mean error was higher for asterisks-below subjects under 50% congruence, but higher for asterisks-above subjects under 100% congruence. Results appear to indicate that frequency judgments are more time independent than the Stroop effect.


Memory, Human information processing, Word recognition, Language and languages Word frequency

Rights Statement

Copyright © 1991, author