Distinctiveness effects in free recall, word stem completion, and word stem cued recall
Guynn, Melissa J.
Roediger, Henry L., III
Master of Arts
Effects of distinctiveness have been investigated with explicit memory tests, but not implicit memory tests. Therefore, four experiments compared the effects of two types of distinctiveness on an implicit test (word stem completion) and two explicit tests (word stem cued recall and free recall). Experiments 1 and 2 indicated a highly beneficial effect of instructions to attend to a particular word on its free recall and its primed word stem completion. Experiment 3 showed a nonsignificant effect in word stem completion, while still showing significant effects in word stem cued recall and free recall. Experiment 4, using pictures embedded in word lists as distinctive events, showed no effect in word stem completion or word stem cued recall, but a large effect in free recall. Thus making events distinctive greatly benefits free recall, and may benefit tests with word stems as cues depending on the nature of the distinctive events.