Memory & Cognition

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 314–326

Color blend retrievals: Compromise memories or deliberate compromise responses?

  • Robert F. Belli

DOI: 10.3758/BF03197042

Cite this article as:
Belli, R.F. Memory & Cognition (1988) 16: 314. doi:10.3758/BF03197042


A total of 978 subjects, in two experiments and two pilot studies, were asked to recognize the color of objects to which they had been exposed in a slide presentation. Taken together, the studies demonstrate that an object’s typical coloration influences recognitions, resulting in retrievals that compromise or blend the actual color and the typical color. In addition, Experiment 2 suggests that color recognitions may be simultaneously influenced by typical knowledge, event information, and postevent information. The findings question the adequacy of both the deliberate compromise and the compromise memory hypotheses as accounts for color blend retrievals. The deliberate compromise hypothesis fails to account for evidence that blend retrievals result because an intact representation of an event is not available at the time of test. The compromise memory hypothesis fails to account for evidence that deliberative processes do occur, and is in need of further exposition given that blend retrievals may be the result of different processes when resulting from typical knowledge and from postevent information. In conclusion, neither hypothesis, in isolation, is able to account for the various possible processes that appear responsible for blend retrievals.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert F. Belli
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New HampshireDurham
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyVanderbilt UniversityNashville

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