Paivio et al. Word List Generator

This app has been retired. Use this link instead: Paivio Word List Generator

The Paivio, Yuille & Madigan Word Pool contains 925 nouns scaled for word frequency in printed text (the Kucera-Francis word counts), rated Imagery, Concreteness, and Meaninfulness and are widely used in memory research to control the effects of these variables. This form allows you to select a randomly sampled set of words, with specified characteristics.

For a designed experiment varying some of these variables across conditions or groups, you should run this generator once for each condition, changing the list parameters you want to vary across conditions. The output now contains a link to a generated CSV file you can download and assemble to prepare your stimulus lists. Please cite your use of this tool as indicated in the footer of this page.

List Parameters

To select one or more lists, enter the number of items per list and the number of lists.

Lists here are sampled identically, given the variable ranges. They are generally assigned randomly across subjects within a given condition to control for random sampling from a word pool.

Number of Items/list
Number of Lists

Variable Parameters

Enter minimum and/or maximum values to restrict the range of any variable. Leave these fields as is or empty to use the entire range.

See the distributions at the right. As a further guide for selection we also provide the quartiles, Q1, Med, Q3 of each distribution.

You won't be happy if the ranges you select do not allow enough total items for all lists.

Variable Range Minimum Maximum Distribution Q1 Med Q3
Number of syllables 1 - 5 2 2 3
Number of letters 3 - 14 5 7 8
Kucera-Francis word frequency1 - 100 4 21 50
Imagery rating 1 - 7 3.8 5.17 6.27
Concreteness rating 1 - 7 3.11 5.72 6.69
Meaningfulness rating 1 - 10 5.22 5.92 6.64

Output format:

[Linux] & [SAS]

If you use this word list generator in a research paper, please cite this use as follows:

Friendly, M. (1996), Paivio et al. Word List Generator, Online application,,

MLF Michael Friendly