ERIC Number: ED204740
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Trait and Process Aspects of Vocabulary Knowledge and Verbal Ability.
Seventy-four high school seniors participated in a study that examined 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 subjects completed three kinds of measurement instruments: (1) an experimental faceted vocabulary test, (2) reference ability tests, and (3) a verbal exposure instrument, which assessed frequency and time spent in reading, writing, doing homework, and viewing television. The results indicated that vocabulary item difficulty increased with word abstractness, word infrequency, when item format required more precise word knowledge, and when an item required definition as opposed to recognition of the word. The findings suggested that partial concepts were prevalent in the young adult subjects and that word acquisition was a gradual process. The results also showed that verbal ability as represented by reading comprehension and reading vocabulary tests was best measured by frequent or medium-frequency words rather than by rare words. On the other hand, difficult recognition vocabulary tests such as advanced vocabulary tests seemed to measure mainly sources of difficulty due to infrequent words. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Advanced Research Projects Agency (DOD), Washington, DC.; Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA. Personnel and Training Research Programs Office.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. School of Education.