Word Learning in Two Modalities

Emily McHugh

Authors:  Emily McHugh

Faculty Mentor:  Lori J. Altmann

College:  College of Public Health and Health Professions

Abstract

There is limited research investigating acquisition of visually-presented signed words compared to auditory words. This study investigated the impacts of modality of word presentation on learning an associated meaning, modality of meaning presentation on learning an associated word, and the impact of crossing modalities on recall of learned associations. Participants viewed short videos of a person saying a non-word or making a sign paired with a picture or a written definition. Outcome variables were accuracy and response times for recall of meanings.
The analysis of accuracy revealed a significant interaction between presentation and meaning modality. Accuracy in the word-picture condition was at ceiling and, thus, significantly greater than accuracy in the word-definition and sign-picture conditions. Analysis of response times found a significant main effect of meaning. Participants were significantly slower when meaning was presented as a definition compared to when it was presented as a picture. These results suggest that recall of meaning associations with novel signs is equally fast and accurate as recall of meanings associated with novel words. Additionally, they suggest that people recall imageable meanings faster than definitions. Finally, results also indicate that typical adults retain a robust ability to learn word-picture associations, likely developed in childhood.

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Poster

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Alexis Brake
Alexis Brake (@guest_6092)
1 year ago

Fantastic work!! What are your next steps for this project?

Emily McHugh
Emily McHugh (@guest_6488)
1 year ago

Hi Alexis! Thank you so much for your comment! I would like to continue similar work with different populations. Specifically, I would be interested in investigating the effects of differences in modality on word learning in individuals with special needs (i.e. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, and other developmental delays).

Emily McHugh
Emily McHugh (@guest_6702)
1 year ago

Hi Alexis! Thank you so much for your comment! I would be interested in doing similar work with different populations. Specifically, I would be interested in investigating the effects of differences in modality in individuals with special needs (i.e. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities).

Emily Boykin
Emily Boykin (@guest_6760)
1 year ago

Congratulations on Best Paper, Emily! This is a very interesting topic and well deserved.

Emily McHugh
Emily McHugh (@guest_6848)
Reply to  Emily Boykin
1 year ago

Thank you so much, Emily! I appreciate that very much.

Gina De Sanctis
Gina De Sanctis (@guest_6782)
1 year ago

Hi Emily!

I really enjoyed reading your presentation. Great work!

Emily McHugh
Emily McHugh (@guest_6900)
Reply to  Gina De Sanctis
1 year ago

Hi Gina! Thank you so much for your kind words!

Lori Altmann
Lori Altmann (@guest_7024)
1 year ago

Nice job! Good fielding of questions too! –Dr. A

Emily McHugh
Emily McHugh (@guest_7092)
Reply to  Lori Altmann
1 year ago

Thank you so much, Dr. A! I learned from the best mentor.

Drew Fletcher
Drew Fletcher (@guest_7114)
1 year ago

Great presentation and very interesting research! One question I have is, do you think the type of learner someone is could potentially affect the result (i.e. a self-declared visual learner vs. a self-declared auditory learner)? Also, because the results were all above 93% for all the conditions, what are some ways of reducing this potential ceiling effect?

Emily McHugh
Emily McHugh (@guest_7350)
Reply to  Drew Fletcher
1 year ago

Hi Drew! Thanks so much for your comment and questions! In regard to the different self-declared learner types, this exact thought entered my mind and was part of a discussion with my mentor as we were developing this project. We found that, as you mentioned, these learner types are self-declared, so it would be difficult to objectively include these in this project. This is a great point and it would be very interesting to see if people’s self-declared learner type correlates with their performance. To reduce this potential ceiling effect, I would like to work with a larger participant pool and more stimuli. I believe this will create more variability in the results across conditions. Thank you again for these great points!

Danielle
Danielle (@guest_7788)
1 year ago

Hi Emily!
I love this research poster, I think this opens many avenues for you to explore with this being the base. I did something similar to this in my research methods class, but to this complexity. Well done and I wish you the best for your future!

Emily McHugh
Emily McHugh (@guest_8376)
1 year ago

Hi Danielle!
Thank you so much for your kind words! I appreciate it so much. I wish you the best in your future as well!