word superiority effect

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A configural superiority effect, making a letter more easily recognizable when it is seen in the context of a word than on its own. Thus, if several observers are shown brief tachistoscopic exposures and are asked to press one button if the word fact appears and another button if the word fast appears, they will tend to respond quicker and more accurately than if the stimuli are the letter c and the letter s presented in isolation. This type of context effect presents a serious challenge to researchers who believe that letters must be recognized in order to identify words. WSE abbrev.

Subjects: Psychology.

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