Isolation effect: Overall list facilitation and debilitation in short-term memory
Journal of General Psychology
In a study of overall list facilitation and debilitation effects with an isolated item, it was hypothesized that a moderate difference for the isolate relative to the other list items would improve memory performance for a serial list, whereas larger differences would actually disrupt performance. Fifty students from an introductory psychology class, who participated to fulfill a class requirement, served as Ss. They were shown 11-item lists of simultaneously-presented letters for 51/2, 11, or 22 sec and afterwards instructed to recall them serially. The isolate consisted of either a CCC trigram larger than the other list items or a large and meaningful CVC. The isolate appeared in the middle of the list. Only evidence supporting facilitation was found with the use of an ANOVA and a Newman-Keuls. The literature indicated facilitative, debilitative, and null effects of isolation on overall list performance. Necessary and/or sufficient conditions leading to these various outcomes were discussed. © 1978 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Cimbalo, Richard S.; Nowak, Bernadette I.; and Stringfield, Carolyn, "Isolation effect: Overall list facilitation and debilitation in short-term memory" (1978). Articles & Book Chapters. 489.