Which word frequency measure to use in picture naming studies?

Together with Betty Mousikou we examined which word frequency measure is the best to use in picture naming studies.

After a series of analyses it became clear that nothing beats the Noun frequencies of the picture names.

You find our text here.

Mousikiou, P. & Brysbaert, M. (2012). Word frequency effects in picture naming: Which frequency measure to use for homophones? Retrieved Month Day, Year from http://crr.ugent.be.

As part of our analyses it once again became clear how bad the frequency measures are with which our English-speaking colleagues work!

For instance, the Celex frequencies given for the IPNP pictures (Szekely et al., 2003, 2004) correlate only -.34 with the picture naming times, against a correlation of -.44 for the SUBTLEX-US Noun frequencies (these correlations translate to 11.5% explained variance for Celex vs. 19.4% for SUBTLEX-US).

You find the SUBTLEX-frequencies for the IPNP pictures here.


Székely, A., D’Amico, S., Devescovi, A., Federmeier, K., Herron, D., Iyer, G., … & Bates, E. (2003). Timed picture naming: Extended norms and validation against previous studies. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 35(4), 621-633.

Szekely, A., Jacobsen, T., D’Amico, S., Devescovi, A., Andonova, E., Herron, D., … & Bates, E. (2004). A new on-line resource for psycholinguistic studies. Journal of memory and language, 51(2), 247-250.

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