A Remember-Know Analysis of the Semantic Serial Position Function

Surprenant, Aimée M. and Kelley, Matthew R. and Neath, Ian (2014) A Remember-Know Analysis of the Semantic Serial Position Function. American Journal of Psychology, 127 (2). pp. 137-145. ISSN 1939-8298

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Did the serial position functions observed in certain semantic memory tasks (e.g., remembering the order of books or films) arise because they really tapped episodic memory? To address this issue, participants were asked to make "remember-know" judgments as they reconstructed the release order of the 7 Harry Potter books and 2 sets of movies. For both classes of stimuli, the "remember" and "know" serial position functions were indistinguishable, and all showed the characteristic U-shape with marked primacy and recency effects. These results are inconsistent with a multiple memory systems view, which predicts recency effects only for "remember" responses and no recency effects for "know" responses. However, the data were consistent with a general memory principle account: the relative distinctiveness principle. According to this view, performance on both episodic and semantic memory tasks arises from the same type of processing: Items that are more separated from their close neighbors in psychological space at the time of recall will be better remembered.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12644
Item ID: 12644
Keywords: Memory, Movies, Position function, Cognitive psychology, Recency effect, Semantics, Crwths, Cognition, Participant observation, Judgment
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 2014
Date Type: Publication
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