The Effect of Semantic Ambiguity on Concreteness Ratings (78284)

Session Information: Psychology and Education
Session Chair: Xavier Noel

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 12:00
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 605
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Concreteness is a measure of the degree of perceptibility of things/objects that words refer to as judged by human raters. Although some words can be unanimously rated as highly concrete (e.g., bird) or highly abstract (e.g., belief ), a great number of words can be rated differently depending on various factors typically overlooked, an issue that has received attention in a relatively small number of studies (e.g., Löhr, 2022; Pollock, 2018; Reijnierse et al., 2019). This study was conducted with a view to contributing to this existing body of research by examining how semantic ambiguity of words may influence concreteness ratings when these words are presented to raters in isolation. Using existing data, I conducted a correlational analysis between semantic ambiguity based on Hoffman et al.’s (2013) semantic diversity measure (semD), which was extracted from the South Carolina Psycholinguistic Metabase (Goa et al., 2022), and the standard deviation values (SDs) of the concreteness ratings based on Brysbaert et al.’s (2014) database, for a subset of 2031 English words. I predicted that as ambiguity of words increases, the size of SDs of concreteness ratings for those words would also increase. In line with this prediction, I found a moderate correlation between SemD and the SDs of concreteness ratings, r = .32, p<.001. This correlation suggests that ambiguous words tend to elicit more diverse ratings compared to less ambiguous words due to the existence of various meanings with different concreteness levels for the same word, influencing the raters’ judgments of concreteness.

Mahdi Almajdoa, Jazan University, Saudi Arabia

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00