NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1067710
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
First Things First: Similar List Length and Output Order Effects for Verbal and Nonverbal Stimuli
Cortis, Cathleen; Dent, Kevin; Kennett, Steffan; Ward, Geoff
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v41 n4 p1179-1214 Jul 2015
When participants are presented with a short list of unrelated words and they are instructed that they may recall in any order, they nevertheless show a very strong tendency to recall in forward serial order. Thus, if asked to recall "in any orde"r: "hat, mouse, tea, stairs," participants often respond "hat, mouse, tea, stairs" even though there was no forward order requirement of the task. In 4 experiments, we examined whether this tendency is language-specific, reflecting mechanisms involved with speech perception, speech production, and/or verbal short-term memory. Specifically, we examined whether we would observe similar findings when participants were asked to recall, in any order, lists of between 1 and 15 nonverbal stimuli, such as visuospatial locations (Experiment 1, Experiment 3, Experiment 4), or touched facial locations (Experiment 2). Contrary to a language-specific explanation, we found corresponding tendencies (albeit somewhat reduced) in the immediate free recall of these nonverbal stimuli. We conclude that the tendency to initiate recall of a short sequence of items with the first item is a general property of memory, which may be augmented by verbal coding.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A