Effects of different kinds of semantic processing on memory for words

Abstract

In an incidental learning paradigm, recall and recognition memory were shown to be significantly better for words rated on pleasantness than on any of the other six semantic dimensions (concreteness, imagery, categorizability, meaningfulness, familiarity, and number of attributes) recently used for scaling of 2,854 words by Toglia and Battig (1978). Pleasantness ratings are also relatively uncorrelated with ratings on these other six dimensions, and the pattern of memory differences between these seven dimensions corresponds closely to differences in dimensional distinctiveness, as indexed by the average correlation of each dimension with the other six dimensions as reported by Toglia and Battig (1978). Word subsets with high and low mean ratings on all seven dimensions showed comparable dimensional differences in memory, but high words were both recalled and recognized better than were low words.

Reference Notes

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    Craik, F. I. M. Personal communication, February 7, 1978.

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This is Publication 79 of the Institute for the Study of Intellectual Behavior, University of Colorado, and IS based on research conducted during the first author’s undergraduate internship from Wheaton College under the direction of the second author. The research was partially supported by Grant BNS 72-02084 from the National Science Foundation.

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Packman, J.L., Battig, W.F. Effects of different kinds of semantic processing on memory for words. Memory & Cognition 6, 502–508 (1978). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03198238

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Keywords

  • Recognition Memory
  • Free Recall
  • Semantic Processing
  • Semantic Dimension
  • Pleasantness Rating