The Psychology of Learning and Motivation: Context as an Organizing Principle of the Lexicon [Book Chapter]

Michael N. Jones, Melody Dye, Brendan T. Johns
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Classic accounts of lexical organization posit that humans are sensitive to environmental frequency, suggesting a mechanism for word learning based on repetition. However, a recent spate of evidence has revealed that it is not simply frequency but the diversity and distinctiveness of contexts in which a word occursthat drives lexical organization. This chapter provides an in-depth evaluation of new research on contextual diversity, integrating evidence from word recognition, semantic memory, episodic memory, and information retrieval.


Jones, M. N., Dye, M., & Johns, B. T.  (2017). Context as an organizational principle of the lexicon. In B. Ross (Ed.), The Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 67:43.