51 properties of 125 words: A unit analysis of verbal behavior

Thumbnail Image




Rubin, DC

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Citation Stats


Values for 125 words were obtained for 51 scales including measures of orthography, pronunciation, imagery, categorizability, association, number of attributes, age-of-acquisition, word frequency, goodness, emotionality, autobiographical memory, tachistoscopic recognition, reading latency, lexical decision, incidental and intentional recall, recall using a mnemonic pathway, paired-associate learning, and recognition. Six factors emerged: Spelling and Sound, Imagery and Meaning, Word Frequency, Recall, Emotionality, and Goodness. Implications for current methodology and theory are discussed, including the claims: that multivariate research is a necessary addition to the study of verbal behavior; that a unidimensional concept such as depth does not do justice to the complexity of recall; and that associative frequency, emotionality, and pronunciability are among the best predictors of our commonly used tasks. © 1980 Academic Press, Inc.


Journal article





Social Sciences, Psychology, Educational, Language & Linguistics, Psychology, Psychology, Experimental, Linguistics


Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Rubin, DC (1980). 51 properties of 125 words: A unit analysis of verbal behavior. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 19(6). pp. 736–755. 10.1016/S0022-5371(80)90415-6 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18982.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



David C. Rubin

Juanita M. Kreps Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

For .pdfs of all publications click here

My main research interest has been in long-term memory, especially for complex (or "real-world") stimuli. This work includes the study of autobiographical memory and oral traditions, as well as prose. I have also studied memory as it is more commonly done in experimental psychology laboratories using lists. In addition to this purely behavioral research, which I plan to continue, I work on memory in clinical populations with the aid of a National Institute of Mental Health grant to study PTSD and on the underlying neural basis of memory the aid of a National Institute of Aging grant to study autobiographical memory using fMRI.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.