Richard Maddock - 256 Words

Thank you for your interest in our set of 256 emotional and neutral English words characterized on four dimensions of particular importance in studies of memory: valence, arousal, imagery and frequency of usage.

The Excel file includes columns showing the raw frequency of usage values from Kucera and Francis (KF) in occurrences per million words, the number of syllables (syll), whether the word is a noun or adjective (N1A2), the mean valence rating (MnA, most pleasant = 1, most unpleasant = 9), the mean arousal rating (MnB, most highly arousing =1, least arousing = 9), and mean imagery rating (MnI, highest imagery = 9. lowest imagery = 1). The words are grouped into their four original groups: 1 = unpleasant, 2 = pleasant, 3 = matched control words for unpleasant, 4 = matched control words for pleasant. Of course, the words can be rearranged into other sets of matched words for different experimental purposes.

It is worth noting that the unpleasant and pleasant words were constrained by a semantic theme (unpleasantness or pleasantness) and as a result the members of those lists tend to be semantically related. For this reason we used a parallel constraint in generating the lists of control words. The control words were selected from words whose meanings pertained to spatial or configural features or shapes.

Please feel free to re-distribute these stimuli to other investigators, as long they agree to cite our article originally describing the stimuli. The article cited below provides detailed information on how these stimuli were created and normed. Please cite this article in any publications using these stimuli.

Maddock, R.J., Garrett, A.S., Buonocore, M.H. Posterior cingulate cortex activation by emotional words: FMRI evidence from a valence decision task. Human Brain Mapping. 18:30-41, 2003.

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