ERIC Number: ED163013
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Momentary Forgetting: Entering and Leaving the TOT State.
Ryan, Michael P.
People sometimes forget a name or a word, and are plagued by the feeling that the sought-for word is somewhere in memory but not immediately available. The frequent description of this tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) phenomenon as subthreshold memory traces is challenged by data showing that TOT genesis and TOT recovery are distinct processes. In a verbal association learning experiment, one group of undergraduates studied word pairs by elaborating two words into a story or image, while a second group studied word pairs by frequent rapid repetition. The elaborate encoding strategy led to more intense feeling-of-knowing responses for those items that were not immediately recalled during the retrieval session. While encoding strategy is a strong predictor of TOT responses in paired-associate forgetting as compared to several estimates of response strength, neither factor influences the order in which hints cue retrieval. It is concluded that TOT's represent a failure of decoding processes in mediated retrieval. (Author/CTM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.