Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 597–614 | Cite as

The availability and effectiveness of reported mediators in associative learning: A historical review and an experimental investigation

  • John T. E. RichardsonEmail author


This paper provides a historical review and empirical investigation of the availability and the effectiveness of different types of mediator in associative learning, as inferred from subjects’ retrospective reports. Mental imagery is a preferred mediational strategy in the learning of pairs of common concrete nouns, and its use is associated with a high level of recall performance. Its availability and its effectiveness are both enhanced if subjects are given interactive imagery instructions. It is argued that retrospective mediator reports provide valid accounts of the cognitive processes that occur at the time of learning and that play a causal role in determining the subsequent level of retention.


Mental Imagery Standard Instruction Recall Performance Paired Associate Imagery Instruction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human SciencesBrunel UniversityUxbridgeEngland

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