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Canessa, E., & Chaigneau, S. E. (2020). Mathematical regularities of data from the property listing task. J. Math. Psychol., 97, 19 pp.
Abstract: To study linguistically coded concepts, researchers often resort to the Property Listing Task (PLT). In a PLT, participants are asked to list properties that describe a concept (e.g., for DOG, subjects may list “is a pet”, “has four legs”, etc.), which are then coded into property types (i.e., superficially dissimilar properties such as “has four legs” and “is a quadruped” may be coded as “four legs”). When the PLT is done for many concepts, researchers obtain Conceptual Properties Norms (CPNs), which are used to study semantic content and as a source of control variables. Though the PLT and CPNs are widely used across psychology, there is a lack of a formal model of the PLT, which would provide better analysis tools. Particularly, nobody has attempted analyzing the PLT's listing process. Thus, in the current work we develop a mathematical description of the PLT. Our analyses indicate that several regularities should be found in the observable data obtained from a PLT. Using data from three different CPNs (from 3 countries and 2 different languages), we show that these regularities do in fact exist and generalize well across different CPNs. Overall, our results suggest that the description of the regularities found in PLT data may be fruitfully used in the study of concepts. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Canessa, E., Chaigneau, S.E, Moreno, S. (2023). Describing and understanding the time course of the Property Listing Task. Cogn. Process., Early Access.
Abstract: To study linguistically coded concepts, researchers often resort to the Property Listing Task (PLT). In a PLT, participants are asked to list properties that describe a concept (e.g., for DOG, subjects may list �is a pet�, �has four legs�, etc.). When PLT data is collected for many concepts, researchers obtain Conceptual Properties Norms (CPNs), which are used to study semantic content and as a source of control variables. Though the PLT and CPNs are widely used across psychology, only recently a model that describes the listing course of a PLT has been developed and validated. That original model describes the listing course using order of production of properties. Here we go a step beyond and validate the model using response times (RT), i.e., the time from cue onset to property listing. Our results show that RT data exhibits the same regularities observed in the previous model, but now we can also analyze the time course, i.e., dynamics of the PLT. As such, the RT validated model may be applied to study several similar memory retrieval tasks, such as the Free Listing Task, Verbal Fluidity Task, and to examine related cognitive processes. To illustrate those kinds of analyses, we present a brief example of the difference in PLT�s dynamics between listing properties for abstract versus concrete concepts, which shows that the model may be fruitfully applied to study concepts.

Chaigneau, S. E., Marchant, N., Canessa, E., & Aldunate, N. (2024). A mathematical model of semantic access in lexical and semantic decisions. Lang. Cogn., Early Access.
Abstract: In this work, we use a mathematical model of the property listing task dynamics and test its ability to predict processing time in semantic and lexical decision tasks. The study aims at exploring the temporal dynamics of semantic access in these tasks and showing that the mathematical model captures essential aspects of semantic access, beyond the original task for which it was developed. In two studies using the semantic and lexical decision tasks, we used the mathematical model's coefficients to predict reaction times. Results showed that the model was able to predict processing time in both tasks, accounting for an independent portion of the total variance, relative to variance predicted by traditional psycholinguistic variables (i.e., frequency, familiarity, concreteness imageability). Overall, this study provides evidence of the mathematical model's validity and generality, and offers insights regarding the characterization of concrete and abstract words.
