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Rehearsal in immediate serial recall

Tan, L.H.T. & Ward, G. (2008). Rehearsal in immediate serial recall. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15(3), pp. 535-542. doi: 10.3758/PBR.15.3.535


We report for the first time overt rehearsal data in immediate serial recall (ISR) undertaken at three presentation rates (1 s/word, 2.5 s/word and 5 s/word). Two groups of participants saw lists of 6 words for ISR and were required either to engage in overt rehearsal or to remain silent after reading aloud the currently presented word during list presentation. Typical ISR serial position effects were obtained for both groups, and recall increased with slower rates. When participants rehearsed, they tended to rehearse in a cumulative forwards order up to serial position 4, after which the amount of rehearsal decreased substantially. There were similarities between rehearsal and recall data: both broke down towards the end of longer sequences, and there were strong positive correlations between the maximum sequence of participants’ rehearsals and their ISR performance. We interpret these data as suggesting that similar mechanisms underpin rehearsal and recall in ISR.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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