Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 615–624 | Cite as

Remembering Deese’s 1959 articles: The Zeitgeist, the sociology of science, and false memories

  • Darryl BruceEmail author
  • Eugene Winograd


Two contemporaneous reports by J. Deese—one concerned with correct recall (1959a), the other with recall intrusions (1959b)-have differed dramatically in their citations to date. The differences represent an unusually compelling instance of the operation of the scientific Zeitgeist. The article dealing with correct recall was congruent with the Zeitgeist of memory research when it was published. Hence it flourished. Just the opposite was true of the article on intrusions, which by the mid 1970s had gone into eclipse. A markedly different Zeitgeist in the 1990s, however, led two investigators simultaneously and independently to adapt Deese’s intrusion method to the investigation of false memories.


Free Recall Childhood Sexual Abuse Journal ofExperimental Psychology False Memory Associative Strength 
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.


  1. Appleby, D. (1987). Producing a déjà vu experience. In V. P. Makosky, L. G. Whittemore, & A. M. Rogers (Eds.),Activities handbook for the teaching of psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 78–79). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  2. Bartlett, F. C. (1932).Remembering: A study in experimental and social psychology. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Boring, E. G. (1963a). Eponym as placebo. In R. I. Watson & D. T. Campbell (Eds.),History, psychology, and science: Selected papers (pp. 5–25). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  4. Boring, E. G. (1963b). Science and the meaning of its history. In R. I. Watson & D. T. Campbell (Eds.),History, psychology, and science: Selected papers (pp. 87–91). New York: Wiley. (Originally published 1959,The Key Reporter,20 [4])Google Scholar
  5. Bransford, J. D., &Franks, J. J. (1971). The abstraction of linguistic ideas.Cognitive Psychology,2, 331–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Broadbent, D. E. (1958).Perception and communication. New York: Pergamon.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown, J. (1958). Some tests of the decay theory of immediate memory.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,10, 12–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Calkins, M. W. (1898). Short studies in memory and in association from the Wellesley College Psychological Laboratory: I. A study of immediate and of delayed recall of the concrete and of the verbal.Psychological Review,5, 451–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Craik, F. I. M. (1970). The fate of primary memory items in free recall.Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior,9, 143–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crowder, R. C. (1976).Principles of learning and memory. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Deese, J. (1959a). Influence of interitem associative strength upon immediate free recall.Psychological Reports,5, 305–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Deese, J. (1959b). On the prediction of occurrence of particular verbal intrusions in immediate recall.Journal of Experimental Psychology,58, 17–22.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Deese, J. (1967).General psychology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  14. Ebbinghaus, H. (1964).Memory: A contribution to experimental psychology (H. A. Ruger & C. E. Bussenius, Trans.). New York: Dover. (Original work published 1885)Google Scholar
  15. Gardiner, J. M., &Java, R. I. (1993). Recognizing and remembering. In A. F. Collins, S. E. Gathercole, M. A. Conway, & P. E. Morris (Eds.),Theories of memory (pp. 163–188). Hove, U.K.: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  16. Hallam, A. (1973).A revolution in the earth sciences: From continental drift to plate tectonics. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Jenkins, J. J. (1970). The 1952 Minnesota word association norms. In L. J. Postman & G. Keppel (Eds.),Norms of word association (pp. 1–38). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  18. Kent, G. H., &Rosanoff, A. J. (1910). A study of association in insanity.American Journal of Insanity,67, 37–96, 317-390.Google Scholar
  19. Lindsay, D. S., &Read, J. D. (1994). Psychotherapy and memories of childhood sexual abuse: A cognitive perspective.Applied Cognitive Psychology,8, 281–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Madigan, S., &O’Hara, R. (1992). Short-term memory at the turn of the century: Mary Whitton Calkins’s memory research.American Psychologist,47, 170–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mayr, E. (1982).The growth of biological thought: Diversity, evolution, and inheritance. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Merton, R. K. (1973a). Multiple discoveries as strategic research site. In N. W. Storer (Ed.),The sociology of science: Theoretical and empirical investigations (pp. 371–382). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Originally published as “Resistance to the systematic study of multiple discoveries in science,” 1963,European Journal of Sociology,4, pp. 237–249)Google Scholar
  23. Merton, R. K. (1973b). Singletons and multiples in science. In N. W. Storer (Ed.),The sociology of science: Theoretical and empirical investigations (pp. 343–370). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Originally published as “Singletons and multiples in scientific discovery,” 1961,Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society,105, pp. 470–486)Google Scholar
  24. 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
  25. Murdock, B. B., Jr. (1962). The serial position effect in free recall.Journal of Experimental Psychology,64, 482–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Myers, D. G. (1986).Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers.Google Scholar
  27. Neisser, U. (1967).Cognitive psychology. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  28. Nelson, D. L., &Roediger, H. L., III (Eds.) (1996). Memory illusions [Special issue].Journal of Memory & Language,35(2).Google Scholar
  29. Peterson, L. R., &Peterson, M. J. (1959). Short-term retention of individual verbal items.Journal of Experimental Psychology,58, 193–198.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Posner, M. I., &Keele, S. W. (1968). On the genesis of abstract ideas.Journal of Experimental Psychology,77, 353–363.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Pressley, M., &Grossman, L. R. (Eds.) (1994). Recovery of memories of childhood sexual abuse [Special issue].Applied Cognitive Psychology,6(4).Google Scholar
  32. Read, J. D. (1993, December).From a passing thought to a vivid memory in ten seconds: A demonstration of illusory memories. Paper presented at the Clark University Conference on Memories of Trauma, Worcester, MA.Google Scholar
  33. Read, J. D. (1996). From a passing thought to a false memory in 2 minutes: Confusing real and illusory events.Psychonomic Bulletin & Review,3, 105–111.Google Scholar
  34. Roediger, H. L., III (1996). Memory illusions.Journal of Memory & Language,35, 76–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Roediger, H. L., III, &McDermott, K. B. (1995). Creating false memories: Remembering words not presented in lists.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,21, 803–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Roediger, H. L., III, McDermott, K. B., &Robinson, K. J. (1998). The role of associative processes in creating false memories. In M. A. Conway, S. E. Gathercole, & C. Cornoldi (Eds.),Theories of memory II (pp. 187–245). Hove, U.K.: Psychological Press.Google Scholar
  37. Russell, W. A., &Jenkins, J. J. (1954).The complete Minnesota norms for responses to 100 words from the Kent-Rosanoff Word Association Test (Tech. Rep. No. 11, Contract N8 ONR 66216, Office of Naval Research). University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
  38. Sarup, G. (1978). Historical antecedents of psychology: The recurrent issue of old wine in new bottles.American Psychologist,33, 478–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schacter, D. L. (1982).Stranger behind the engram: Theories of memory and the psychology of science. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  40. Schacter, D. L., Coyle, J. T., Fischbach, G. D., Mesulam, M. M., &Sullivan, L. E. (Eds.) (1995).Memory distortion: How minds, brains, and societies reconstruct the past. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Schacter, D. L., Eich, J. E., &Tulving, E. (1978). Richard Semon’s theory of memory.Journal of Verbal Leaning & Verbal Behavior,17, 721–743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tulving, E. (1968). Theoretical issues in free recall. In T. R. Dixon & D. L. Horton (Eds.),Verbal behavior and general behavior theory (pp. 2–36). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  43. Tulving, E. (1976). Ecphoric processes in recall and recognition. In J. Brown (Ed.),Recall and recognition (pp. 37–73). London: Wiley.Google Scholar
  44. Tulving, E. (1983).Elements of episodic memory. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Tulving, E. (1985). Memory and consciousness.Canadian Psychologist,26, 1–12.Google Scholar
  46. Underwood, B. J. (1965). False recognition produced by implicit verbal responses.Journal of Experimental Psychology,70, 123–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Waugh, N. C., &Norman, D. A. (1965). Primary memory.Psychological Review,72, 89–104.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyEmory UniversityAtlanta

Personalised recommendations