Age-of-acquisition (AoA) norms for over 50 thousand English words

Together with Victor Kuperman and Hans Stadthagen-Gonzalez, we collected age-of-acquisition (AoA) ratings for 30,121 English content words (nouns, verbs, and adjectives). The collection of these new AoA norms was possible because we made use of the web-based crowdsourcing technology offered by the Amazon Mechanical Turk. Correlations with existing AoA measures suggest that these estimates are as good as the existing ones.

You find the article on the new AoA norms (Kuperman et al., Behavior Research Methods, 2012) here.

You find the Kuperman et al. (2012) AoA ratings here.

Here you find a comparison with the AoA norms from other large-scale databases (Bird et al., 2001; Stadthagen-Gonzalez & Davis, 2006; Cortese & Khanna, 2008; Schock et al., 2012). In each sheet two or three new columns have been added: the Kuperman et al. AoA ratings for the overlapping words, and the predicted Kuperman et al. AoA norms on the basis of original rating (by means of linear or polynomial regression; the regression weights are shown as well).

Because the Age-of-acquisition norms can also be used for inflected forms and because the other studies contained ratings for words we did not include (pronouns, number words, adverbs, nouns mostly used as names) we can expand the original Kuperman et al. list to a total of 51,715 words, which you find here. In this list, for each word we give the Kuperman et al. AoA rating, and the predicted AoA ratings on the basis of other studies (based on the lemmas of the words).

Here you find a demo on how to easily enter the AoA values into your stimulus Excel file.

Update April 24, 2012: We collected AoA norms of some 1000 more words (in 4 new batches). The new words include interesting words from the previous AoA rating studies that had been overlooked, a few other missing words (like heather), and words of which the plural has a different meaning (e.g., glasses, aliens, …). These new AoA norms have been included in the respective files making that the Kuperman et al. list now includes 31,124 entries .

Update November, 2017: With help from Andrew Biemiller, we have been able to get access to the test-based AoA measures collected by Dale and O’Rourke in the 1970s. Children from various grades were given multiple choice questions about words. On the basis of their responses words got assigned to specific grades. These can be considered as a more objective measure of AoA. It correlates well with other measures we collected, as we report in Brysbaert & Biemiller (2017; see here if you do not have access to the journal). You can directly download the test-based norms here. See Brysbaert (2017) for further validation of the AoA ratings and the test-based AoA norms.

If you spot a calculation error or if you find important words for which we do not have an AoA measure, please contact Marc Brysbaert!

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