Data from the file drawer: Remembering case-sensitive and case-insensitive words

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I’ve dug up an old, never published, dataset that I collected back in 2013. This dataset fairly cleanly shows that it’s harder to remember words correctly if you also have to remember the case of the letters. That is, if the shown word is Banana and the subject recalls it as Banana, then it’s correct, but banana is as wrong as if the subject had recalled bapple. It’s not very surprising that it’s harder to correctly remember words when case matters, but the result and the dataset are fairly “clean”: Two groups, simple-to-understand experimental conditions, plenty of participants (200+), the data could even be analyzed with a t-test (but then please look at the confidence interval, and not the p-value!). So maybe a dataset that could be used when teaching statistics, who knows? Well, here it is, released by me to the public domain:


In the rest of this post, I’ll explain what’s in this dataset and how it was collected, and I’ll end with a short example analysis of the data. First up, here’s how the memory task was presented to the participants (click here if you want to try it out yourself):

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