Dual coding versus relational processing in memory for concrete and abstract words

Richardson, John T. E. (2003). Dual coding versus relational processing in memory for concrete and abstract words. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 15(4) pp. 481–509.

URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/psych/pecp/2...

Abstract

In two experiments, participants judged whether nouns fitted particular sentence frames and then received an unanticipated recall test with the sentence frames as cues. Concrete nouns were better recalled than abstract nouns, and nouns presented in meaningful sentence frames were better recalled than nouns presented in anomalous sentence frames. In Experiment 2, performance in a test of free recall was positively related to the concreteness of the nouns but unrelated to the meaningfulness of the sentence frames. The increase in performance from free recall to cued recall was positively related to the meaningfulness of the sentence frames but not significantly related to the concreteness of the nouns. The effects of concreteness and meaningfulness showed no sign of any interaction either in their effects on recall performance or in their effects on the advantage of cued recall over free recall. These results are consistent with the dual-coding theory of imagery and verbal processes but are not consistent with either of two different interpretations of the relational-distinctiveness processing theory.

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