This article applies to:
Experiment Author: Susan Campbell. Adapted from STEP and used with permission of Brian MacWhinney
This experiment looked at whether people remembered more words from a list than they could name. Participants were given a list of words with category names, then asked to remember them either with or without the category names. The experimenters found that recall was better with the category names.
In this experiment a list of words appears one at a time to participants. Press the spacebar to move on to the next word. Each word also has a category, for example participants see: Transportation - Bus. Remember the word "Bus" not the category, "Transportation". After the list of words is shown, categories appear with a blank next to it. Cueing participants to type in a word previously shown with the category. In another block trials, a list of words appears, and the experiment instructs participants to enter a word without a category shown as a cue. There are 216 trials in this experiment.
Tulving, E. and Pearlstone, Z. (1966). Availability versus accessibility of information in memory for words. Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior 5(4), 381-391.
Cited Experiment Abstract
The Ss learned, on a single trial, lists of words belonging to explicitly designated conceptual categories. Lists varied in terms of length (12, 24, and 48 words) and number of words per category (1, 2, and 4). Immediate recall was tested either in presence or absence of category names as retrieval cues. Cued recall was higher than noncued recall, the difference varying directly with list length and inversely with number of items per category. This finding was interpreted as indicating that sufficiently intact memory traces of many words not recalled under the noncued recall conditions were available in the memory storage, but not accessible for retrieval. Further analysis of the data in terms of recall of categories and recall of words within recalled categories suggested two independent retrieval processes, on concerned with the accessibility of higher-order memory units, the other with accessibility of items within higher-order units.
Works Cited by the Experiment
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