Accession Number:

ADA102757

Title:

Trait and Process Aspects of Vocabulary Knowledge and Verbal Ability.

Descriptive Note:

Technical rept.,

Corporate Author:

STANFORD UNIV CA SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1981-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

116.0

Abstract:

This study sought to investigate the construct validity of vocabulary tests and the nature of verbal ability by integrating findings and theories of cognitive psychology with those of differential psychology. The study included three kinds of measurements an experimental faceted vocabulary test, reference ability tests, and a verbal exposure questionnaire. The faceted vocabulary test was used to study sources of difficulty in vocabulary test performance and how these sources of difficulty affect the relations between vocabulary tests and other ability measures. The experimental task was a 3x3x3x2 faceted vocabulary test. The facets were word abstractness concrete, medium, abstract, word frequency low, medium, high, item type vague recognition, accurate recognition, definition, and blocks two parallel blocks. The item-type facet included two contrasts definition vs. recognition items, and vague- vs. accurate-recognition items. The reference battery included tests of general mental ability, verbal ability, spatial ability, memory span, and closure speed. The verbal exposure questionnaire assessed frequency and time spent in reading, writing, doing homework, and viewing television. Subjects were 74 high school seniors. Results indicated that vocabulary item difficulty increased with word abstractness, word infrequency, when item format required more precise word knowledge, and when the item required definition as opposed to recognition of the word. The results also suggested that partial concepts are prevalent in young adults and that word acquisition is a gradual process.

Subject Categories:

  • Linguistics
  • Psychology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE