The pupillometric production effect: measuring attentional engagement during a production task

Willoughby, Hannah V. (2020) The pupillometric production effect: measuring attentional engagement during a production task. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Reading to be remembered material aloud improves memory at test compared to material read silently; a finding termed “the production effect”. Aloud words are theorised to be better remembered because they stand out and benefit from distinctive processing during which unique features of the words (i.e., visual, phonological, semantic) are attached to the encoding trace. Recent accounts challenge this notion suggesting that an attentional or effortful component contributes to the effect. The following applies pupillometry to measure cognitive effort during a production task; the pupils dilate when one is engaged in an effortful task (e.g., solving a difficult math problem) compared to a less effortful task (e.g., solving an easy math problem). Across two experiments, I separated components of the production task (e.g., presenting the stimulus separately from speaking) to provide insight into the underlying active cognitive processes. In Experiment 1, a pre-cue was implemented, participants viewed the instructional cue (e.g., read aloud) prior to viewing and producing the stimulus. In Experiment 2, participants viewed the word and instruction simultaneously and waited until a later “Go” cue to speak. Both experiments demonstrated evidence showcasing the importance of distinctiveness and also the influence of other cognitive processes within the production paradigm.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 14757
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 99-110).
Keywords: memory, recognition, production effect, pupillometry
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: October 2020
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Oral reading--Psychological aspects; Attention; Pupillometry.

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