Are lexical factors immune to response modality in backward recall? The effects of imageability and word frequency.
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In immediate serial recall, it is well established that performance is influenced by lexical factors such as imageability and word frequency. However, when participants are asked to recall the to-be-remembered items in their reverse order, known as backward recall, lexical factors produced contradictory findings. In 4 experiments, we tested the role of response modality in modulating the effects of imageability and word frequency in backward recall. The magnitude of the 2 tested lexical factors was only slightly reduced in backward compared with forward recall when participants responded manually. Critically, when participants recalled words orally, the magnitude of the lexical factors was severely reduced in backward recall. It is concluded that response modality has a strong influence on the memory processes involved in backward recall. (PsycINFO Database Record
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