Familiarity ratings for 24,325 simplified Chinese words

Yongqiang SU, Yixun LI, Hong LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The present work collected familiarity norms for 20,275 two-character, 1231 three-character, and 2819 four-character simplified Chinese words from 1300 native speakers of Mandarin Chinese. The familiarity of each word was rated on a 7-point scale by at least 21 participants. The results supported the reliability and validity of the present familiarity ratings, which is the first large familiarity database for Chinese in the field. These familiarity norms can be downloaded from the supplemental materials. Furthermore, the contribution of familiarity to Chinese lexical processing was investigated using the present familiarity ratings and previous data (lexical features and visual lexical decision), mainly from two major Chinese lexicon projects, MELD-SCH and CLP. Regression analysis suggests that familiarity explained a substantial percentage of the variance in lexical processing of both simplified and traditional Chinese words, over and above the effects of word frequency and other lexical features, including age of acquisition (AoA). Further analysis identified a significantly greater familiarity effect for lower-frequency words than that for higher-frequency words. Together, among the first, our findings support the important contribution of familiarity with Chinese words to lexical processing, especially for low-frequency words. Copyright © 2022 The Psychonomic Society, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1496-1509
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Early online dateJun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


Su, Y., Li, Y., & Li, H. (2023). Familiarity ratings for 24,325 simplified Chinese words. Behavior Research Methods, 55, 1496-1509. doi: 10.3758/s13428-022-01878-5


  • Chinese
  • Familiarity
  • Lexical decision
  • Psycholinguistic norms


Dive into the research topics of 'Familiarity ratings for 24,325 simplified Chinese words'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.