Advertisement

Memory & Cognition

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 469–488 | Cite as

Can the effects of temporal grouping explain the similarities and differences between free recall and serial recall?

  • Jessica Spurgeon
  • Geoff Ward
  • William J. Matthews
  • Simon Farrell
Article

Abstract

Temporal grouping can provide a principled explanation for changes in the serial position curves and output orders that occur with increasing list length in immediate free recall (IFR) and immediate serial recall (ISR). To test these claims, we examined the effects of temporal grouping on the order of recall in IFR and ISR of lists of between one and 12 words. Consistent with prior research, there were significant effects of temporal grouping in the ISR task with mid-length lists using serial recall scoring, and no overall grouping advantage in the IFR task with longer list lengths using free recall scoring. In all conditions, there was a general tendency to initiate recall with either the first list item or with one of the last four items, and then to recall in a forward serial order. In the grouped IFR conditions, when participants started with one of the last four words, there were particularly heightened tendencies to initiate recall with the first item of the most recent group. Moreover, there was an increased degree of forward-ordered transitions within groups than across groups in IFR. These findings are broadly consistent with Farrell’s model, in which lists of items in immediate memory are parsed into distinct groups and participants initiate recall with the first item of a chosen cluster, but also highlight shortcomings of that model. The data support the claim that grouping may offer an important element in the theoretical integration of IFR and ISR.

Keywords

Working memory Free recall Serial recall Grouping Clustering 

Supplementary material

13421_2014_471_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.5 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1.54 mb)

References

  1. Anderson, J. R., Bothell, D., Lebiere, C., & Matessa, M. (1998). An integrated theory of list memory. Journal of Memory and Language, 38, 341–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atkinson, R. C., & Shiffrin, R. M. (1971). The control of short-term memory. Scientific American, 225, 82–90.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Baddeley, A. D. (1966). Short-term memory for word sequences as a function of acoustic, semantic and formal similarity. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 18, 362–365.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Baddeley, A. D. (1986). Working Memory. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  5. Baddeley, A. (2012). Working memory: Theories, models and controversies. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 1–29.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Baddeley, A. D., & Hitch, G. J. (1974). Working memory. In G. A. Bower (Ed.), Recent advances in learning and motivation (Vol. 8, pp. 47–90). London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  7. Baddeley, A. D., Thomson, N., & Buchanan, M. (1975). Word length and the structure of short-term memory. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 14, 575–589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Beaman, C. P., & Morton, J. (2000). The separate but related origins of the recency and the modality effect in free recall. Cognition, 77, B59–B65.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Bhatarah, P., Ward, G., Smith, J., & Hayes, L. (2009). Examining the relationship between free recall and immediate serial recall: Similar patterns of rehearsal and similar effects of word length, presentation rate, and articulatory suppression. Memory and Cognition, 37, 689–713.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Bhatarah, P., Ward, G., & Tan, L. (2008). Examining the relationship between free recall and immediate serial recall: The serial nature of recall and the effect of test expectancy. Memory & Cognition, 36, 20–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Botvinick, M. M., & Plaut, D. C. (2006). Short-term memory for serial order: A recurrent neural network model. Psychological Review, 113, 201–233.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Bower, G. H. (1970). Organizational factors in memory. Cognitive Psychology, 1, 18–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Broadbent, D. E. (1975). The magic number seven after fifteen years. In A. Kennedy & A. Wilkes (Eds.), Studies in long-term memory (pp. 3–18). Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  14. Brown, G. D. A., Chater, N., & Neath, I. (2008). Serial and free recall: Common effects and common mechanisms? A reply to Murdock (2008). Psychological Review, 115, 781–785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brown, G. D. A., Neath, I., & Chater, N. (2007). A temporal ratio model of memory. Psychological Review, 114, 539–576.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Brown, G. D. A., Preece, T., & Hulme, C. (2000). Oscillator-based memory for serial order. Psychological Review, 107, 127–181.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Burgess, N., & Hitch, G. J. (1999). Memory for serial order: A network model of the phonological loop and its timing. Psychological Review, 106, 551–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Burgess, N., & Hitch, G. J. (2006). A revised model of short-term memory and long-term learning of verbal sequences. Journal of Memory and Language, 55, 627–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Chen, Z., & Cowan, N. (2009). How verbal memory loads consume attention. Memory & Cognition, 37, 829–836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cowan, N. (1988). Evolving conceptions of memory storage, selective attention, and their mutual constraints within the human information processing system. Psychological Bulletin, 104, 163–191.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Cowan, N. (1999). An embedded-processes model of working memory. In A. Miyake & P. Shah (Eds.), Models of Working Memory: Mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control (pp. 62–101). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cowan, N. (2000). The magical number 4 in short-term memory: A reconsideration of mental storage capacity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24, 87–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Cowan, N. (2005). Working memory capacity. Hove: Psychology Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cowan, N., Saults, J. S., Elliott, E. M., & Moreno, M. V. (2002). Deconfounding serial recall. Journal of Memory and Language, 46, 153–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Crannell, C. W., & Parrish, J. M. (1957). A comparison of immediate memory span for digits, letters, and words. Journal of Psychology, 44, 319–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Davelaar, E. J., Goshen-Gottstein, Y., Ashkenazi, A., Haarmann, H. J., & Usher, M. (2005). The demise of short-term memory revisited: Empirical and computational investigations of recency effects. Psychological Review, 112, 3–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Drewnowski, A., & Murdock, B. B., Jr. (1980). The role of auditory features in memory span for words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 6, 319–332.Google Scholar
  28. Farrell, S. (2010). Dissociating conditional recency in immediate and delayed free recall: A challenge for unitary models of recency. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36, 324–347.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Farrell, S. (2012). Temporal clustering and sequencing in short-term memory and episodic memory. Psychological Review, 119, 223–271.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Farrell, S., & Lewandowsky, S. (2002). An endogenous distributed model of ordering in serial recall. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 9, 59–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Farrell, S., & Lewandowsky, S. (2004). Modelling transposition latencies: Constraints for theories of serial order memory. Journal of Memory and Language, 51, 115–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Frankish, C. (1985). Modality-specific grouping effects in short-term memory. Journal of Memory and Language, 24, 200–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Frankish, C. (1989). Perceptual organization and precategorical acoustic storage. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 15, 469–479.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Friendly, M., Franklin, P. E., Hoffman, D., & Rubin, D. C. (1982). Norms for the Toronto Word Pool: Norms for imagery, concreteness, orthographic variables and grammatical usage for 1,080 words. Behavior Research Methods & Instrumentation, 14, 375–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gianutsos, R. (1972). Free recall of grouped words. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 95, 419–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Glanzer, M. (1972). Storage mechanisms in recall. In G. H. Bower (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation: Advances in research and theory (Vol. 5, pp. 129–193). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  37. Golomb, J. D., Peelle, J. E., Addis, K. M., Kahana, M. J., & Wingfield, A. (2008). Effects of adult aging on utilization of temporal and semantic associations during free and serial recall. Memory & Cognition, 36, 947–956.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Grenfell-Essam, R., & Ward, G. (2012). Examining the relationship between free recall and immediate serial recall: The role of list length, strategy use, and test expectancy. Journal of Memory and Language, 67, 106–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Grenfell-Essam, R., Ward, G., & Tan, L. (2013). The role of rehearsal on the output order of immediate free recall of short and long lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 39, 317–347.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Grossberg, S., & Pearson, L. R. (2008). Laminar cortical dynamics of cognitive and motor working memory, sequence learning and performance: Toward a unified theory of how the cerebral cortex works. Psychological Review, 115, 677–732.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Henson, R. N. A. (1996). Short-term memory for serial order (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Cambridge: University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
  42. Henson, R. N. A. (1998). Short-term memory for serial order: The start-end model of serial recall. Cognitive Psychology, 36, 73–137.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Henson, R. N. (1999). Positional information in short-term memory: Relative or absolute? Memory & Cognition, 27, 915–927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hitch, G. J., Burgess, N., Towse, J. N., & Culpin, V. (1996). Temporal grouping effects in immediate recall: A working memory analysis. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 49A, 116–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Howard, M. W., & Kahana, M. J. (1999). Contextual variability and serial position effects in free recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 25, 923–941.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Howard, M. W., & Kahana, M. J. (2002). A distributed representation of temporal context. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 46, 269–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hurlstone, M. J., Hitch, G. J., & Baddeley, A. D. (2014). Memory for serial order across domains: An overview of the literature and directions for future research. Psychological Bulletin, 140, 339–373.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Johnson, N. F. (1972). Organization and the concept of a memory code. In A. W. Melton & E. Martin (Eds.), Coding processes in human memory (pp. 125–159). Washington: Winston.Google Scholar
  49. Kahana, M. J. (1996). Associative retrieval processes in free recall. Memory & Cognition, 24, 103–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kahana, M. J. (2012a). Auditory Toronto word pool. Available : http://memory.psych.upenn.edu/WordPools (11th September, 2012)
  51. Kahana, M. J. (2012b). Foundations of Human Memory. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Kahana, M. J., Howard, M. J., & Polyn, S. M. (2008). Associative retrieval processes in episodic memory. In J. Byrne (Series Ed.) H. L. Roediger, III, Vol. (Ed.), Learning and memory: A comprehensive reference. Vol 2: Cognitive psychology of memory. Oxford: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  53. Kahana, M. J., & Jacobs, J. (2000). Interresponse times in serial recall: Effects of intraserial repetition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 26, 1188–1197.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Laming, D. (1999). Testing the idea of distinct storage mechanisms in memory. International Journal of Psychology, 34, 419–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Laming, D. (2006). Predicting free recalls. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 32, 1146–1163.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Lewandowsky, S., & Farrell, S. (2008). Short-term memory: New data and a model. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 49, 1–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Madigan, S. A. (1980). The serial position curve in immediate serial recall. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 15, 335–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Maybery, M. T., Parmentier, F. B. R., & Jones, D. M. (2002). Grouping of list items reflected in the timing of recall: Implications for models of serial verbal memory. Journal of Memory and Language, 47, 360–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Miller, G. A. (1956). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review, 63, 81–97.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Murdock, B. B., Jr. (1962). The serial position effect of free recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 482–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Page, M. P. A., & Norris, D. (1998). The primacy model: A new model of immediate serial recall. Psychological Review, 105, 761–781.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Page, M. P. A., & Norris, D. G. (2003). The irrelevant sound effect: What needs modeling, and a tentative model. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 56A, 1289–1300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Parmentier, F. B. R., & Maybery, M. T. (2008). Equivalent effects of grouping by time, voice and location on response timing in verbal serial memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 34, 1349–1355.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Raaijmakers, J. G. W., & Shiffrin, R. M. (1981). Search of associative memory. Psychological Review, 88, 93–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Reeves, C., Schmauder, A. R., & Morris, R. K. (2000). Stress grouping improves performance on an immediate serial list recall task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 26, 1638–1654.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Rundus, D. (1971). Analysis of rehearsal processes in free recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 89, 63–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Ryan, J. (1969a). Grouping and short-term memory: Different means and patterns of groups. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 21, 137–147.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Ryan, J. (1969b). Temporal grouping, rehearsal and short-term memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 21, 148–155.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Spurgeon, J., Ward, G., & Matthews, W. J. (2014). Examining the relationship between immediate serial recall and immediate free recall: Common effects of phonological loop variables but only limited evidence for the phonological loop. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 40, 1110–1141.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Tan, L., & Ward, G. (2000). A recency-based account of primacy effects in free recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 26, 1589–1625.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Tzeng, O. J. L., & Hung, D. I. (1973). Intralist organization and subsequent free recalls. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 98, 119–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Ward, G., Tan, L., & Grenfell-Essam, R. (2010). Examining the relationship between free recall and immediate serial recall: The effects of list length and output order. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36, 1207–1241.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  73. Waugh, N. C., & Norman, D. A. (1965). Primary memory. Psychological Review, 72, 89–104.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Wickelgren, W. A. (1967). Rehearsal grouping and hierarchical organisation of serial position cues in short-term memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 19, 97–102.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of EssexColchesterUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthUSA

Personalised recommendations