Comprehension of 500 safety words: a computer-based methodology. 2 volumes.


This thesis investigates the relative comprehensibility of 500 words related to consumer safety using a computer-based methodology. Problems in defining and measuring language comprehension are discussed. A pilot study explored techniques for assessing the comprehensibility of 40 safety words and 30 safety phrases. Results determined the feasibility of scaling up the research to a large field study. The main study investigated 500 safety words using questionnaires containing ten each of the target words. Words were randomised and partitioned into administratively convenient sets before generating questionnaires. Questionnaires were tested using national survey techniques. The questionnaire was open-ended and asked respondents for the meaning of each word in the general context of safety. The verbatim results formed the primary data base. Seven "qualified" judges independently categorised the responses according to operationally defined levels of comprehension. The seven sets of judgements were analysed for consensus. Frequency analyses were made on the categorised raw data. The results of several of these analyses were combined to yield tabulations in which words were ordered according to various criteria. Subsequent analysis concentrated on words that looked as if they were either difficult to understand, had provoked significant lack of agreement across the judges, showed a significant number of inappropriate responses or failed to have a large enough sample to yield reliable interpretations. Each word was also analysed by gender and by predicted verbal ability. Finally, conclusions and recommendations are made regarding the methodology and the results it yielded along with shortcomings and potential extensions.

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Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
Additional Information: Copyright © I.R. Graydon, 1986. I.R. Graydon asserts their moral right to be identified as the author of this thesis. This copy of the thesis has been supplied on condition that anyone who consults it is understood to recognise that its copyright rests with its author and that no quotation from the thesis and no information derived from it may be published without appropriate permission or acknowledgement. If you have discovered material in Aston Publications Explorer which is unlawful e.g. breaches copyright, (either yours or that of a third party) or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, data protection, obscenity, defamation, libel, then please read our Takedown Policy and contact the service immediately.
Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: language comprehension,consumer safety,methodology,applied psychology
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2024 11:51
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2011 12:31
Completed Date: 1986
Authors: Graydon, Iain R.

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