01/01/2018 Psychology
DOI: 10.1177/1747021817746929 SemanticScholar ID: 46625035 MAG: 2782495110

Exploring the sentence advantage in working memory: Insights from serial recall and recognition

Publication Summary

Immediate serial recall of sentences has been shown to be superior to that of unrelated words. This study was designed to further explore how this effect might emerge in recall and to establish whether it also extends to serial recognition, a different form of response task that has relatively reduced output requirements. Using auditory or visual presentation of sequences, we found a substantial advantage for sentences over lists in serial recall, an effect shown on measures of recall accuracy, order, intrusion, and omission errors and reflected in transposition gradients. In contrast however, recognition memory based on a standard change detection paradigm gave only weak and inconsistent evidence for a sentence superiority effect. However, when a more sensitive staircase procedure imported from psychophysics was used, a clear sentence advantage was found although the effect sizes were smaller than those observed in serial recall. These findings suggest that sentence recall benefits from automatic processes that utilise long-term knowledge across encoding, storage, and retrieval.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Richard Allen

Dr. Richard Allen

University of Leeds - Associate Professor

Share this

Next publication

2009 Psychology

The Dynamics of Category Conjunctions

R. Hutter, R. Crisp, G. Humphreys, Gillian. M. Waters + 1 more