Effects of varying modality, surface features, and retention interval on priming in word-fragment completion

Abstract

Subjects in Experiment i studied a list of words under varying presentation conditions (visual or auditory) and in two typographies within the visual condition (typed or hand printed) and then received a word-fragment completion test (e.g., —YS—E—Y formystery) in which the test cues also varied in typography. The main findings were that (1) priming occurred for all study items, relative to nonstudied items, but greater priming occurred for visual than for auditory presentation, and (2) performance in the visual conditions was better when typographies matched between study and test than when the typographies mismatched, but only for words studied in hand-printed form. These findings were generally replicated when the test was delayed 1 week, although priming declined across this retention interval (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3 subjects studied words that were either in focus or blurred and showed greater priming when test fragments were presented in the same manner as at study. Priming in the word-fragment completion task depends on matching surface characteristics of items between study and test and exemplifies the requirement of performing similar mental operations at study and test for maximizing performance (transfer-appropriate processing).

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Correspondence to Henry L. Roediger.

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This research was supported by Grant ROI HD-15054 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

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Roediger, H.L., Blaxton, T.A. Effects of varying modality, surface features, and retention interval on priming in word-fragment completion. Memory & Cognition 15, 379–388 (1987). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03197728

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Keywords

  • Retention Interval
  • Repetition Priming
  • Perceptual Identification
  • Auditory Presentation
  • Great Priming