Evidence for a parallel input serial analysis model of word processing.
A parallel input serial analysis (PISA) model of word processing was developed and tested. The goal was to expand on the "critical processing duration" hypothesis of Johnson, Allen, and Strand (1989) so that both single-word and multiple-word presentation, letter detection data could be explained. In Experiments 1-3 four different word frequency categories on a single-presentation, letter detection task were used. These three experiments indicated that there was a curvilinear relationship between word frequency and letter detection reaction time (RT). That is, letter detection RTs for medium-high-frequency words were significantly longer than letter detection RTs for very-high-, low-, and very-low-frequency words. These results support the PISA model rather than the Healy, Oliver, and McNamara (1987) version of the unitization model. In Experiments 4-5 multiple-presentation (i.e., two words), letter detection tasks were used. The PISA model could also account for the results from these two experiments, but the unitization model could not.
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