NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1073896
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
The Fill-In Effect in Serial Recall Can Be Obscured by Omission Errors
Osth, Adam F.; Dennis, Simon
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v41 n5 p1447-1455 Sep 2015
Henson (1996) provided a number of demonstrations of error patterns in serial recall that contradict chaining models. Chaining models predict that when participants erroneously recall an item too early, recall should proceed from the point of error. In contradiction to such a prediction, Henson found evidence for a fill-in effect: participants were much more likely to revisit an erroneously skipped item than to continue onward to later list items. However, recent reanalyses of serial recall data sets have found evidence for the opposite pattern in serial recall experiments that use open sets of items. We tested the hypothesis that open sets of items produce fill-in effects by comparing serial recall with an open set and a closed set, and when participants were allowed and prohibited from skipping over responses, and comparing serial recall with a reconstruction of order task. Fill-in effects were observed in all cases except when participants were not encouraged to skip over responses. Subsequent analyses indicated that when omission rates were equated, a fill-in effect was observed for all conditions when lists contained no omissions. These results suggest that high omission rates in open-set designs obscure a fill-in effect and further sound a cautionary note about interpreting cases in which recall continues in the forward direction after a skipped response.
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: Ohio