Immediate serial recall of words and nonwords: Tests of the retrieval-based hypothesis Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • In two experiments, the immediate serial recall of lists of words or nonwords was investigated under quiet and articulatory suppression conditions. The results showed better item recall for words but better order recall for nonwords, as measured with proportion of order errors per item recalled. Articulatory suppression hindered the recall of item information for both types of lists and of order information for words. These results are interpreted in light of a retrieval account in which degraded phonological traces must undergo a reconstruction process calling on long-term knowledge of the to-be-remembered items. The minimal long-term representations for nonwords are thought to be responsible for their lower item recall and their better order recall. Under suppression, phonological representations are thought to be minimal, producing trace interpretation problems responsible for the greater number of item and order errors, relative to quiet conditions. The very low performance for nonwords under suppression is attributed to the combination of degraded phonological information and minimal long-term knowledge.

publication date

  • June 2000