Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

4-2014

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Stephen J. Lupker, Ph.D.

Abstract

Typographical errors caused by transposing two letters in a word (e.g., jugde for JUDGE) are often readily misperceived as the words themselves. This phenomenon, known as the transposed letter (TL) effect, has been used widely in studying letter position coding in reading. Previous research by Lee and Taft (2009) found no TL effects in Korean, a nonlinear script, causing Lee and Taft to argue that the processing of letter position information varies as a function of the orthographic structure of a language. In particular, Lee and Taft suggested that, given the orthographic structure of Korean syllables, TL nonwords should not activate their base words and, therefore, no TL effects should exist in Korean. The purpose of the present research was to evaluate this claim using the masked priming, lexical decision task (LDT), a more conventional method for evaluating automatic processing than the simple, unprimed LDT used by Lee and Taft. TL primes were generated by transposing letters between syllables. Mirroring the manipulations used by Lee and Taft, there were three types of TL primes: onset1-onset2 transpositions, coda1-coda2 transpositions, and coda1-onset2 transpositions. Replacement primes created by replacing the transposed letters in TL primes with two other letters were used as control primes for each condition. As Lee and Taft predicted, no facilitation effects emerged, however, there were significant inhibition effects following TL primes, effects that Lee and Taft’s analysis cannot explain.

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