Mental imagery and the distinction between primary and secondary memory

Richardson, John T. E. (1978). Mental imagery and the distinction between primary and secondary memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 30(3) pp. 471–485.

URL: http://doi.org/10.1080/00335557843000061

Abstract

Previous research has shown that the imageability of stimulus material affects the secondary memory (SM) component of free recall, but not the primary memory (PM) component, and that a negative recency effect is only observed for material of high imageability. It was found that interactive imagery instructions affected the SM component, but not the PM component; separative imagery instructions led to an increased PM component and a reduced SM component. A negative recency effect can be observed in an initial, delayed recall test. However, it is removed by imagery mnemonic instructions. This supports the idea that the negative recency effect is caused by the fact that subjects do not normally image the last few words presented in a free-recall task.

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