Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. E. Jack Asher

Second Advisor

Dr. John Nangle

Third Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


An experiment was conducted to verify the existence and determine the magnitude of the human response latency differential between words and their abbreviations in a decoding task. Forty-eight Naval Officer Candidates learned a set of abbreviations obtained from operational aircraft cockpits. Abbreviations and corresponding words were divided into easy and hard difficulty levels. Subjects responded by saying the correct whole-word for both stimulus types. Response times measured by a voice key revealed a mean of 0.534 seconds for words and 0.662 seconds for abbreviations. An analysis of variance produced significant main effects (p < .05) for stimulus types and difficulty levels; the interaction effect was not significant. Also, t-tests for correlated scores revealed significant differences (p < .05) between difficulty levels within stimulus types.