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Investigating the effects of transparency and ambiguity on idiom learning

Tiv, Mehrgol (2016) Investigating the effects of transparency and ambiguity on idiom learning. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this thesis was to learn how transparency and ambiguity affect idiom learning. Experiment 1 was a norming study to measure the transparency, ambiguity, and familiarity levels of translated French idioms into English. Experiment 2 was a training study where 25 native English speakers learned 32 of the normed idioms from Experiment 1. The procedure was distributed over three days and included two learning sessions and one testing session. In addition, each participant completed individual difference tasks for working memory, creativity, and figurative language proficiency. We ran Linear Mixed Effects Regression models which rendered a significant effect of transparency on performance. Given the ceiling effects from Experiment 2, we conducted Experiment 3 which differed from Experiment 2 in that it reduced the amount of time subjects spent learning and practicing the idioms and also included a semantic relatedness test. Experiment 3 showed a significant main effect of transparency and an interaction between transparency and the type of test such that performance was better for high transparency idioms on a recall test but worse on a semantic relatedness test. Across the two training experiments, we found neither an effect of ambiguity nor any significant relation between individual difference tasks and performance.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Tiv, Mehrgolmet81@pitt.eduMET81
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWarren,
Committee MemberTokowicz,
Committee MemberDickey,
Committee MemberTitone,
Date: 28 April 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 15 April 2016
Approval Date: 28 April 2016
Submission Date: 22 April 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 65
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychology, Idioms, Figurative Language, Learning, Individual Difference
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2016 15:49
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:33


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