Article published in:Semantics and Psychology of Complex Words
Edited by Christina L. Gagné and Thomas L. Spalding
[The Mental Lexicon 15:1] 2020
► pp. 142–160
On the influence of creativity upon the interpretation of complex words
The paper is aimed at the evaluation of whether, and if, to what degree, the psychological factor of creativity affects the interpretation of complex words. The research covered 324 students (17–18 years old) who attended (at the time of the experiment) various secondary schools in Košice, Slovakia. For the sake of evaluation, the respondents were divided into two cohorts (H-cohort and L-cohort) for each of the creativity variables, based on their high vs. low scores achieved in the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT). These variables include Elaboration, Fluency, Flexibility and Originality and two subscores, the Creative Strengths and the Composite Score. The interpretation test includes potential compound words and converted words, i.e., potential words that admit numerous potential readings. The evaluation process is primarily based on Štekauer’s theory of meaning predictability (2005), and covers four variables: the predictability rate, the objectified predictability rate, hapax legomena, and the average number of readings per informant. The results suggest that while the H-cohort is more ‘creative’ in interpreting potential words the influence of the individual variables/subscores varies substantially.
Keywords: psycholinguistics, creativity, Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, interpretation, potential words
Published online: 30 October 2020
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