Hannah is a PhD Student in Experimental Psychology
My general research area is language comprehension. The focus of my PhD is to investigate how people understand words with multiple meanings, and therefore multiple possible interpretations, such as ‘bark’ (dog bark vs. tree bark). These semantically ambiguous words are very common in English, with around 80% of words having multiple dictionary entries. Hence it is crucial for language comprehension that we are able to understand the intended meaning of ambiguous words. Currently, I am looking at how people use their recent experience with these ambiguous words to guide how they understand them when they are subsequently encountered. I am also developing an eye-tracking methodology to test how people process semantically ambiguous words.