Mental imagery and pictorial memory

Owens, A. C. and Richardson, J. T. E. (1979). Mental imagery and pictorial memory. British Journal of Psychology, 70(4) pp. 497–505.



Previous research has failed to show consistent effects upon memory performance of individual differences in the use of mental imagery. A test of pictorial memory was devised which varied the ease with which the stimulus patterns could be verbally encoded. A factor analysis related performance in this task to a variety of other individual characteristics. The recall of material which could not be readily verbalized defined a factor within the solution which showed significant loadings of age and performance in the Progressive Matrices, but not of subjective ratings of the vividness of experienced imagery. The recall of material which could be readily verbalized did not contribute to the factorial structure of the results. It was concluded that the two sorts of pictorial material are remembered in quite different ways.

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