Cognitive Psychology provides student readers with essential help with all aspects of their first course in cognitive psychology, including advice on revising for exams, preparing and writing course assessment materials, and enhancing and progressing their knowledge and skills in line with course requirements in cognitive psychology.

Speech/Word Recognition

Speech/word recognition

Core Areas

  • Automatic processing
  • Cohort theory
  • Interactive activation model
  • Motor theory
  • Prosodic cues
  • Response bias effect
  • Semantic priming effects
  • Sensitivity effect
  • TRACE model

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • define the key terms;
  • provide an introductory outline to the processes involved in word recognition including phonemic restoration, lip reading, prosodic cues, automatic processing, the role of context and letter identification;
  • understand the role of bottom-up and top-down processes in relation to explanation of recognition including motor theory, cohort theory, the TRACE model and the interactive activation model; and
  • consider the strengths and weaknesses of each of these theories in explaining speech/word recognition.

Running Themes

  • Bottom-up processing
  • Ecological validity
  • Experimental cognitive psychology
  • Schema
  • Semantics
  • Top-down processing


Recognising words may be due to data-driven processes resulting from things we hear (bottom-up processing) or from the concepts taken from linguistic ...

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