Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Dale M. Brethower

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Third Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Howard Poole


The present research consisted of two empirical studies and a literature review. The first study was a systematic replication of the studies by Miller, Goodyear-Orwart, and Malott (1996) and Vunovich and Malott (1997). Fourteen undergraduate students and one graduate student participated in four intensive, extensive, structured Graduate Record Examination (GRE) preparation courses that met for seven weeks and lasted between 99 and 140 hours. The courses offered a monetary reward for students who met a minimum of 92% for attendance and participation during the course. The results of this study showed statistically significant mean improvements of 145 points for the combined verbal and quantitative scores from pretest to posttest, and of 129 points from pretest to actual GRE test. These results combined with those of Miller et al. (1996) and Vunovich and Malott (1997) show that intensive, extensive, structured training for the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE produces statistically and practically significant improvements.

A review of the literature on morphological analysis was performed. The focus was on the evaluation of the teaching of morphological-analysis skills as a strategy to build vocabulary and to facilitate the use of novel words. This review evaluated the training strategies for morphological analysis, including the teaching of prefixes and offered recommendations for future research in morphological analysis.

Based on this literature review, the second study evaluated the effectiveness of training with 15 prefixes on responses to novel words containing those prefixes and on time to learn novel prefixed words. Training with only prefixes was compared to training with prefixed words and to no training (control) with eighty-eight undergraduate students. Training with prefixes transferred to the use of novel words containing those prefixes, but showed no benefits over the time to learn novel prefixed words. Training with prefixed words showed no transfer to the use of novel words containing those prefixes. The present research suggests that prefix training can be a valuable component of vocabulary training.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access