Imagery, concreteness, and lexical complexity

Richardson, John T. E. (1975). Imagery, concreteness, and lexical complexity. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 27(2) pp. 211–223.



Both imageability and lexical complexity are shown to be influential in determining performance in free recall. However, both features may be confounded with an item's concreteness, and all three factors are controlled in a second experiment. Lexical complexity is shown not to have any effect on recall when imageability and concreteness are both controlled. Further, imageability is found to have an effect in the case of abstract words, but not in the case of concrete words. This result is replicated using English nominalizations. It is suggested that concreteness is a feature which is to be distinguished from imageability.

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