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Serial position effects in implicit and explicit memory tests

Brooks, B. M. (1996). Serial position effects in implicit and explicit memory tests. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

Abstract

This thesis explored the properties of perceptual and conceptual priming by examining serial position effects and levels of processing effects in matched implicit and explicit memory tests. The experimental work used one perceptual implicit memory test, word stem completion, and two conceptual implicit memory tests, free association and name generation.

The main findings were that primacy effects were only found in the implicit memory tests when associative connections between stimulus pairs were strengthened during encoding. Short-term recency effects were not found in the implicit memory tests, but there was forgetting throughout the course of most of the conceptual implicit memory tests for all but primacy items. Neither name generation nor free association using weakly related word pairs, which were mainly common idioms, produced levels of processing effects. There was a levels of processing effect in free association using strongly related word pairs but not when baseline completion was subtracted prior to the analysis. In comparison, primacy effects, forgetting and levels of processing effects occurred in all the explicit tests and short-term recency effects appeared to be dependent on the degree of cognitive effort involved in recall from test cues.

The findings are discussed in relation to the multiple memory systems theory, that there are structurally and functionally distinct memory systems, and the transfer appropriate processing theory, that there is a unitary memory system which is susceptible to the degree of overlap between encoding and test processes.

An amendment to the multiple memory systems theory was suggested to explain the experimental results. It was proposed that all priming may be based on the perceptual representation system but that interactions between the perceptual representation system and the episodic and semantic memory systems occur during encoding.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > School of Health & Psychological Sciences Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
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