Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Primacy Effect

  • Angela K. TroyerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1141


The primacy effect is the tendency for individuals without neurological impairment to show enhanced memory for items presented at the beginning of a list relative to items presented in the middle of the list. At test, items presented at the beginning of a list are retrieved from long-term or secondary memory stores. The primacy effect, therefore, is affected by factors influencing long-term memory ability, such as attentional resources, opportunities for rehearsal, and neurodegenerative processes including Alzheimer’s disease. The primacy effect is part of the larger serial position effect.


References and Readings

  1. Tulving, E., & Craik, F. I. M. (Eds.). (2000). The Oxford handbook of memory. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neuropsychology and Cognitive Health ProgramBaycrest Centre for Geriatric CareTorontoCanada