Title

Isolation effect: Overall list facilitation and debilitation in short-term memory

Document Type

Article

Publication Source

Journal of General Psychology

Publication Date

1978-01-01

Volume

99

Issue

2

First Page

251

Last Page

256

Abstract

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.

DOI

10.1080/00221309.1978.9710510

https://doi.org/10.1080/00221309.1978.9710510

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