ERIC Number: ED282254
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Cuing of Familiar and Unfamiliar Acronyms and Need for Cognition on Recognition: An Experiment to Suggest Newspaper Style Guidelines.
A study explored the effects of both prior knowledge of acronyms and their form of presentation (cued or uncued) on reader recognition of acronym meaning. Among the hypotheses tested were that (1) a reader presented with an acronym ranked as familiar is more likely to recognize that acronym than one ranked unfamiliar, and (2) that a reader presented with an acronym that is cued (i.e., the acronym appears in parentheses after the use of the words it represents) is more likely to recognize that word on subsequent presentations than a reader of an uncued acronym. Subjects were 125 undergraduates enrolled in a writing for the mass media class at the University of Florida. They were given five news stories of approximately 250 words each--one being a control story. Each of the four experimental stories was identical except for the acronyms used and the way the acronyms were presented. Two dimensions of recognition were measured--recall and meaning assignment--using a 24-item scale. Results indicated that for acronyms at the extreme ends of the familiarity spectrum, cuing readers to the meaning is not an important factor in whether they will recognize those acronyms. In addition, of readers who said they had difficulty with the presented stories, those who were presented with unfamiliar acronyms--whether cued or uncued--had significantly lower recognition scores than those who were presented with familiar acronyms. Results suggest that unless an acronym was already in a reader's lexicon, the reader had difficulty recognizing it. (A table of results and the five stories are appended. Fourteen references are included.) (AEW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (70th, San Antonio, TX, August 1-4, 1987).