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ERIC Number: EJ934220
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Ease of Access to List Items in Short-Term Memory Depends on the Order of the Recognition Probes
Lange, Elke B.; Cerella, John; Verhaeghen, Paul
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v37 n3 p608-620 May 2011
We report data from 4 experiments using a recognition design with multiple probes to be matched to specific study positions. Items could be accessed rapidly, independent of set size, when the test order matched the study order (forward condition). When the order of testing was random, backward, or in a prelearned irregular sequence (reordered conditions), the classic Sternberg result was obtained: Response times were slow and increased linearly with set size. A number of explanations for forward-condition facilitation were ruled out, such as the predictability of the study order (Experiment 2), the predictability of the probe order (Experiment 1), the covariation of study and test orders (Experiments 1, 2, and 4), processes of probe encoding and perception that did not rely on STM access (Experiments 1, 2, and 4), specific support of the forward condition by articulatory processes (Experiment 3), or condition-dependent strategic differences (Experiment 4). More detailed analyses demonstrated that fast forward responses could not be accounted for by the effects of input position and output position that modulated random responses, effects that did account for the slower responses of the reordered conditions (Experiments 1, 3, and 4). A final analysis of probe-to-probe transitions as a function of encoding distance revealed a sizeable single-step benefit in the random condition. We concluded that STM representations were serial rather than spatial and that forward probes benefited from their serial adjacency. (Contains 7 figures, 1 table and 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A