DISSERTATION

DISSERTATION

A Title

The effect of Age of Acquisition and how it interacts with the Valence Effect in famous name processing

An Abstract

The age of acquisition (AoA) effect refers to the processing advantage that names, words, objects, that people learnt earlier in life will be easier to remember than information that is acquired later. This was acquired by participants cumulatively over a period of time. Manipulating AoA by choosing the celebrity name that had first become known to the participant. The effect of Age of Acquisition and how it interacts with the Valence effect in famous name processing. The effects of age were explored by testing participants aged from 18 -40 different ages and ethnic minority. Participants was told to press “Y” for yes which was indicate at right hand corner of the computer and “N” which was at the left hand corner of the computer to indicate no to the familiar or unfamiliar names.

The findings was significant AoA effect. A linear increase in reaction time was uncovered, with the participants being fastest to respond to the 1960s celebrities, than those from the 1970s, and being slowest to respond to celebrities from the 1980s. There was no age AoA interaction, although the AoA effect was most noticeable in the oldest participant group. The data showed that the long-term persistent influence of AoA on processing speeds. Moreover, they indicate that the effects of AoA are much more subtle than simply reflecting a difference between the earliest acquired stimuli in a processing domain and all later acquired names.

INTRODUCTION

The concept of Age of Acquisition (AoA) can be described as how people react to names, words and objects that are learnt earlier in life and how fast and accurate the reaction time will be in recognising them, than the names, words and objects which are acquired later in life. (Barry and Johnston, 2006). Previous studies have found that AoA does not only affect the visual aspect of memory, but it also includes words and objects. The aims of this experiment are to demonstrate that even though AoA effects are very well recognised at an empirical level. The hypothesis in this study aims to research names are familiar to the participants in the study; the reaction time will be faster when the names that are unfamiliar. The hypothesis is that it will take the participants longer to react when they are presented with an unknown name (Moore, et al, 1998). When focusing on Age of Acquisition this started in the early 1980s and most of the work has been done on the processing of words and objects, where researchers measure the speed and accuracy of participants’ recall of stimuli. Research has generally provided sound evidence for the effect of AoA, and much of the early research focused on the effects of AoA independent of other variables such as word frequency, image-ability and familiarity. Research confirmed that the effects of AoA, independent of other variables, were still present in processing conceptual information (object naming) and representational information (word processing) (Lyons, Teer& Rubenstein, 1978) and that the effect of AoA is more relevant in determining memory recall than word frequency (Carroll & White, 1973).

LOOK AT WORDS

The impacts of Age of Acquisition have been observed through the performance of word recognition tasks on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Patients with the disease recognised fewer late- than early-acquired words and this effect becomes clearer as the disease progresses (Cuetos, Herrera & Ellis, 2010).The role of AoA on recognition has been demonstrated further through the process of learning a second language; participants who attended sessions to help them learn another language were much faster to react towards items they had learnt in the early periods compared to those they learnt in the last few sessions (Izura, Pérez, Agallou, Wright, Marín, Stadthagen-González & Ellis, 2011). AoA effects have also been shown in the memory recall of objects; AoA effects have been found in picture of names naming tasks, present in both old and young people, and it was suggested that the age at which we acquire a word determines how well we can access that word throughout life (Barry, Johnston & Wood, 2006).

Even though variables such as word frequency, familiarity and image ability are controlled, Age of Acquisition effects are still present as the reaction times during object naming tasks are lower for early-acquired stimuli, hence supporting Carroll & White’s (1973) idea that AoA is more dominant than word frequency (Moore, Smith-Spark & Valentine, 2004).Barry et al.’s (2006) finding that AoA effects are persistent in life has been supported; Smith-Spark, Moore & Valentine (2012) examined the differences in AoA effects between people aged in their 40s, 50s and 60s. After being tested on their speed and accuracy to recall the names of celebrities who were famous during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, it was found that the participants were faster and more accurate when recalling the names earlier. Zevin, J. D., & Seidenberg, M. S. (2002). Found evidence for an AoA effect in computational models of reading that used words that exhibit normal spelling-sound regularities. An AoA effect was observed, however, in a model in which early and late learned words did not overlap in terms of orthography or phonology.

FINDINGSNEEDED

REF studies found that the effects of age of acquisition mirror the involvement of semantic representations in assignment presentation. Some characteristics of word recognition in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, showed they remember picture of namess, objects and word that were learnt early in their lives, than later acquired words. REF Mayo,et,l 1997 These findings indicate that learning a second language at an early age is important for the acquisition of efficient high-level processing of it, at least in the presence of noise

LOOK AT PICTURE OF NAMESS

This age-of-acquisition (AoA) in regards to words and picture of namess with earlier learned labels are processed faster than words and picture of namess with later learned in life. This age-of-acquisition (AoA) effect has been extensively investigated in many different types of tasks. Carrol and white 1973bfirst reported that picture of namess with earlier learned labels were named faster than picture of namess with later learned labels. Over the past 3 decades, many researchers have studied this contribution of age-of-acquisition (AoA) to the processing of words (De Moor, Ghyselinck, & Brysbaert, 2001). The typical finding is that words that are acquired earlier in childhood are processed quicker or more accurately than words that are acquired later in life (e.g., Carroll & White, 1973b; Gerhand & Barry, 1998; Morrison & Ellis, 1995). This AoA effect is often compared with the word frequency effect, which has been studied much more extensively. Word frequency effects occur when a word that occurs highly frequently in language is processed faster or more accurately than those occurring with a lower frequency. Many models of word processing and reading incorporate word frequency effects to explain some aspect of processing (e.g., M. Coltheart, Rastle, Perry, Langdon, & Ziegler, 2001; Reichle, Pollatsek, Fisher, & Rayner, 1998). To what extent do word frequency and AoA overlap? Or do they measure different things? Although AoA and frequency may be related, as the review presented in this article makes clear, if anything AoA effects are stronger than frequency effects. Indeed, some AoA researchers (e.g., Morrison & Ellis, 1995) have suggested that previous studies demonstrating frequency effects might have done so because frequency and AoA tend to be highly correlated and earlier frequency studies failed to control for AoA. Although this topic has been debated in the literature, the reality of AoA effects may cause some researchers to rethink their models of word recognition. Do words that are acquired first in a language have a privileged role in the mental lexicon? FINDINGS

. LOOK AT FAMOUS NAMES AND NAMES– CELEBRITIES – LOVE / HATE

Carol et al. 1973 conducted a study using 94 stimuli and 37 adult subjects, two word frequency measures had insignificant beta weights, while two measures estimating age at which the word was learned had highly significant weights. Objects whose names were learned early were named faster. This result may have important implications for the interpretation of studies using word frequency as a critical variable. It is suggested that word retrieval may be a one-stage process that depends upon the age at which a word was learned.

FIND A STUDY THAT DISAGREES WITH AOA

WAT IS VALENCE EFFECT TLK ABT THIS(LAST )(EMOTIONAL OR AFFECTIVE PROCESSING)

Valence Effect is the attention gates the processing of stimuli relatively early in visual cortex. Yet, existing data suggest that emotional stimuli activate brain regions automatically, largely immune from attentional control. To resolve this puzzle, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to first measure activation in regions that responded differentially to names with emotional expressions (fearful and happy) compared with neutral faces. We then measured the modulation of these responses by attention, using a competing task with a high attentional load. Contrary to the prevailing view, all brain regions responding differentially to emotional faces, including the amygdala, did so only when sufficient attentional resources were available to process the faces. Thus, the processing of facial expression appears to be under top-down control.

METHODS

Participants

There were 40 participants in this study, 20 females and 20males (one participant did not report their gender). All participants were undergraduate psychology students from London South Bank University. The mean age of the participants was NEED TO KNOW The range of the participants NEED TO KNOW There were a mixture of both international and home students (2 participants did not report their student type).

Materials

The experiment was run using the experiment on the computer super lab. MENTION WAT TYPE OF COMPUTOR. The famous names will be shown to the participants were PUT PIXLE SIZE. Forty famous names were early-acquired famous names, twenty were late-acquired famous names and twenty were unfamiliar names.

Design

This experiment was a within-subjects design. The independent variable was the AoA of famous names, early- and late-acquired being the levels of treatment. The dependent variable was the reaction time of the participants when responding to the different names and their emotions. Reaction times were only recorded if the response was correct. The presentation of the names shown was randomised. Participants’ reaction times to the different names were compared to see if there was a difference in response between familiar and unfamiliar names, and early- and late- acquired famous names.

Procedure

Participants were told that they were about to see a list of famous names on the screen. These names had distractor names in the experiment. They were told to respond as quickly and accurately as possible to the names that they are looking at. Participants were shown names of early-acquired famous names, late-acquired famous names and distractors names. The name would be kept on the screen until a response was made. They were told click the button to indicate that they knew the names. If they did not recognise the name they would take longer to respond. The participants were given a trial test first to get them familiar with what they were going to do, which consisted of four names being shown to them. Then they were shown forty famous names and forty distractors different and it would appear different parts of the computer screen with names and the time participants take to respond to these was recorded. Participants were then given a debriefed form explaining the purpose of the. They were given contact details of my supervisor to call or get in touch if they were affected by the study.

Discussion

In this study both of the hypotheses for this experiment were supported by the results obtained; participants were faster to respond to familiar names than unfamiliar names and of those familiar names participants were faster to respond to early- rather than late-acquired famous names along with a significant difference, ruling out random error. The results are also consistent with previous research looking at the recognition of famous celebrities’ names or names (Smith-Spark & Moore, 2009; Smith-Spark at al., 2012; Moore & Valentine, 1998), where participants were more accurate and faster when responding too naming early-acquired famous celebrities rather than late-acquired ones.

Despite the results supporting the general findings of previous research, this experiment had a number of issues which may affect the reliability of the results obtained. One weakness associated with the picture of names used was that female participants may not have recognised the footballers’ faces, leading to a potential increase of incorrect response from female participants. This could be have been avoided if the names were tested beforehand to make sure they would be familiar with both genders. One main flaw in the methodology was the participants that took part. Many participants were not UK students participants were reported as international students), which means that picture of names classed as early-acquired names may not have actually been acquired early for international students as they may have only become familiar with these famous names recently, which could have led to incorrect responses. Another point to consider is the age of the participants. Since the age range was considerably large (40 years) the names could have had a different AoA effect on the old and young students. Some of the names of early-acquired famous names may not be familiar to the younger participants, and again this could lead to more incorrect responses.

The results would have been more reliable had the participants been of equal, or similar, age and cultural background. This would have confirmed that the names used in the experiment would affect each participant in the same way. This leads to another potential improvement for the design of this study. Only correct responses were recorded, which means the accuracy of the participants’ decisions could not be analysed. If all of the decisions were recorded, in terms of them being correct or not, then these potential differences could have been investigated (UK students compared with international students, and old students compared with young students).Furthermore, the problems with the stimuli could have been avoided if it was checked for familiarity beforehand, for example using the ratings from Smith-Spark, Moore, Valentine & Sherman’s (2006) database of stimuli. One new potential area of investigation following this study could look at the differences of familiar names between genders (e.g. how familiar females are with footballers).

Results

The reaction times to early- and late-acquired famous names were compared. The mean reaction time for early-acquired names was NEED TO KNOW The mean reaction time for late-acquired names was NEED TO KNOW). The mean reaction times for unfamiliar names was NEED TO KNOW The results show that participants responded the quickest to early-acquired names, followed by late-acquired names and then unfamiliar names. The mean reaction times are shown in Figure 1. The difference between the reaction times to early- and late-acquired famous names was statistically significant, NEED TO KNOW

REFERENCE

Mayo, L. H., Florentine, M., & Buus, S. (1997). Age of second-language acquisition and perception of speech in noise. Journal of speech, language, and hearing research, 40(3), 686-693.

Zevin, J. D., & Seidenberg, M. S. (2002). Age of acquisition effects in word reading and other tasks. Journal of Memory and language, 47(1), 1-29.

Ellis, A. W., & Morrison, C. M. (1998). Real age-of-acquisition effects in lexical retrieval. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 24(2), 515.

Barry, C., Johnston, R. A.,& Wood, R. F. (2006).Effects of age of acquisition, age, and repetition priming on object naming.Visual Cognition, 13(7/8), 911–927.

Izura, C., Pérez, M. A., Agallou, E., Wright, V. C., Marín, J., Stadthagen-González, H., et al. (2011). Age/order of acquisition effects and the cumulative learning of foreign words : A word training study. Journal of Memory and Language, 64, 32–58

Carroll, J. B.,& White, M. N. (1973).Word frequency and age of acquisition as determiners of picture of names-naming latency.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 25, 85–95.

Smith-Spark, J. H., Moore, V., Valentine, T., & Sherman, S. M. (2006).Stimulus generation, ratings, phoneme counts, and group classifications for 696 famous people by British adults over 40 years of age.Behaviour Research Methods, 38(4), 590–597.

Moore, V. M., & Valentine, T. (1998).The effect of age of acquisitionon speed and accuracy of naming famous faces.Quarterly Journalof Experimental Psychology, 51A, 485-513.

Moore, V. M., Smith-Spark, J. H., & Valentine, T. (2004). The effects of age of acquisition on object recognition. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 16, 417-439.

Lyons, A. W., Teer, P.,&Rubenstein, H. (1978).Age-at-Acquisition and Word Recognition.Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 7, 3, 179-187.

Cuetos, F., Herrera, E.,& Ellis, A. W. (2010). Impaired word recognition in Alzheimer’s disease: the role of age of acquisition. Neuropsychologia, 48, 3329-3334.

Smith-Spark, J. H., Moore, V., & Valentine, T. (2012).Long-term age of acquisition effects in famous name processing.ActaPsychologica, 139, 1, 202-211.

Smith-Spark, J. H., & Moore, V. (2009). The representation and processing of familiar namesin dyslexia: Differences in age of acquisition effects. Dyslexia: An International Journal of Research and Practice, 15(2), 129-146.

Juhasz, B. J. (2005). Age-of-acquisition effects in word and picture of names identification. Psychological bulletin, 131(5), 684.

An appendix

Consent form

The effect of Age of acquisition and how it interacts with valence effect in famous name processing.

You have been invited to participate in a study which looks Age of Acquisition.

Please circle yes or no to your answers.

This is a consent form for participants only.

I am 18 years old or older YES/NO

I have read and understood the given information about this research. YES / NO

I have been given the opportunity to ask questions YES/NO

Do you agree to take part in the study? YES / NO

If you have circled YES above, you are now eligible to continue with this study, you are able to withdraw from the study at any point without any explanation.

Name………….. Participant Signature …………………. date……………

Researchers signature……………………

Debrief

Title of Study

The effects of Age of acquisition and how it interacts with valence effect in famous name processing.

Thank you very much for your participation in this research. We would like to provide some further information about the purpose of the study and what we expect to find.

The aim of this study is to examine whether Age of acquisition can determine how fast an individual recognizes a familiar or unfamiliar famous name. Research proves that early acquired famous names are easily recognized than names that are acquired later in life. Therefore names that are recognized earlier means that the individual will identity it quicker, than those who learnt in advance. We were also looking at valence this is the amount of emotions attached to the stimuli.

What happens to the information / data I have provided? The data will be collected for this study will form part of a staff project. Once the data is analysed a report of the findings may be submitted for publication. Only necessary trends will be reported and it will not be possible to identify any individuals. A summary of the results will be available from the researcher on request.

If anything has caused you discomfort please note that you can find additional support via the mental health and wellbeing team at south bank university -02078156474.

Once again, we would like to thank you for your valuable contribution to this research. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Your name and email

Brief

You are being invited to take part in a research study. Before you decide it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully. Please ask the researcher if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information, and take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.

The aim of this study is to examine whether Age of acquisition can determine how fast an individual recognizes a familiar or unfamiliar famous name and whether AOA and valence interact.

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, when please ask to speak with the researcher who will do their best to answer your questions. If you wish any further information regarding this study or have any complaints about the way you have been dealt with during the study or other concerns you can contact Jamie-Smith Sparks who is the Academic Supervisor for this study.

Kind regards,

Your name

Participant number………………………………………………………….  Age…………………..

Male / Female       

Below is a list of celebrities below.

Age of Acquisition: Participants should estimate when in your life do you think that you first became aware of each person. A score of 1 represents an unknown person. Two relates to a celebrity first acquired under 3 years of age, three, for a celebrity acquired under 6 years of age, four, a person acquired under 9 years of age, five, a celebrity acquired under 12 years of age, six, a person acquired under 18 years of age and seven, a celebrity acquired over 18 years of age. 

1————2————-3————4———–5————6————7

1 = Unknown       7 = Over 18 yrs.

2 = Under 3   years.

3 = Under 6   years.

4 = Under 9   years.

5 = Under 12 years.

6 = Under 18 years.

Familiarity:  Please give a score of 1 for someone you may know vaguely. A score of 2 for someone you know slightly better and so on up to 6 for someone who is extremely familiar to you. This is a personal decision which should reflect on how many times you have seen, heard of, or have been reminded of this person in your lifetime. 

MAY KNOW VAGUELY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7    EXTREMELY WELL

Distinctiveness: For this please would you try to imagine the celebrities’ face (no other features, just their face) and rate it for how distinctive it is to you. Please try to imagine that you are to meet this person on a railway station. Then please try to estimate how easy they would be to spot in the crowd. Please give a score of 1 for a “typical” face that would be very hard to spot, and so on up to 6 for a person with a very distinctive face who you would spot easily.

TYPICAL, HARD TO SPOT   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 DISTINCTIVE, EASY TO SPOT

Please put an X beside the names that you do not recognise.

 

 

 

Age of Acquisition  Familiarity   Distinctiveness

Beyonc’e

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7   1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Vivian Westwood

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Alex Ferguson  

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7   1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Andre Agassi 

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

P. Diddy

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Kanye West

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7 

Versace

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7   1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Tommy Hilfiger 1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6   7

 

Simon Cowell

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Elton John 

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Bob Monkhouse 

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Moschino

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Bruce Forsyth  

1     2    3    4    5    6    7   1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Carol Smillie 

1     2    3    4    5    6    7   1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Modonna

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Charlie Dimmock

1     2    3    4    5    6    7   1     2    3    4    5    6    7   1     2    3    4    5    6  7  

Chris Evans 

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Chris Tarrant 

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7   1    2    3    4    5    6    7

Cilla Black 

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Cindy Crawford 

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7   1   2    3    4    5    6    7

Clive James 

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7   1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Dale Winton  

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Serena Williams

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

David Attenborough

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5 6 7 

David Beckham 

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

David Bellamy

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

David Ginola 

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7   1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Halle Berry

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

Gail Porter 

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7 

Kim Kardashian

1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7  1     2    3    4    5    6    7

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