The Effects of Word Familiarity and Letter Structure Familiarity on the Perception of Words

by Sidney E. Owsowitz


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An experiment conducted to test the hypothesis that familiarity of letter structure (as opposed to familiarity of the word) would facilitate the perception of the word. The results showed an interaction between letter structure familiarity and word familiarity such that, while letter structure familiarity facilitated correct identification of the letters of the word, it resulted in inhibiting the perception of unfamiliar words. Where the letter structure was less familiar, familiar and unfamiliar words did not differ in threshold.

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