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A Model of the Production Effect over the Short-Term: The Cost of Relative Distinctiveness

Saint-Aubin, J., Yearsley, J. M., Poirier, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1169-6424 and Guitard, D. (2021). A Model of the Production Effect over the Short-Term: The Cost of Relative Distinctiveness. Journal of Memory and Language,


The production effect relates to the better memory of words read aloud during a study phase compared to silently read items. Here, we examined the production effect for memory over the short-term. In long-term memory tasks, the effect generates a complex pattern of results where production interacts with memory task and list composition. Within an immediate ordered recall paradigm, involving both item and order information, we tested the item-order account, recently called upon to explain the production effect. We also analysed results as a function of serial position. Results of the first five experiments were highly consistent, but hard to reconcile with the item-order account. Instead, we put forward an interpretation based on relative distinctiveness and the costs of the richer encoding associated with production. The predictions we derived from this interpretation were supported in the final experiment. Moreover, we tested the interpretation through a new version of the Feature Model. Overall, the work highlights the value of the production effect as a prototypical distinctiveness phenomenon illuminating the interaction of encoding and retrieval processes, the value of feature-rich representations, and the costs that can be associated with feature-generating distinctive processing.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Production Effect; Feature Model; Immediate Serial Recall
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2021 10:05
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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