Serial position effects in 2-alternative forced choice recognition: Functional equivalence across visual and auditory modalities

This source preferred by Andrew Johnson

Authors: Johnson, A.J. and Miles, C.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/19877/

Journal: Memory

Volume: 17

Pages: 84-91

ISSN: 0965-8211

DOI: 10.1080/09658210802557711

Two experiments examined Ward, Avons and Melling’s (2005) proposition that the serial position function is task, rather than modality, dependent. Specifically, they proposed that for backward testing the 2-alternative forced choice (2AFC) recognition paradigm is characterised by single-item recency irrespective of the modality of the stimulus presentation. In Experiment 1 the same nonwords sequences, presented both visually or auditorially, produced qualitatively equivalent serial position functions with 2AFC testing. Forward testing produced a flat serial position function, whilst backward testing produced two-item recency in the absence of primacy. In order to rule out the possibility that the serial position functions for visual stimuli were the product of sub-vocal rehearsal, Experiment 2 employed articulatory suppression during the presentation phase. Serial position function equivalence was again observed together with a modest impairment in overall recognition rates. Taken together, these data are consistent with the Ward et al. proposition and further support the existence of a visual memory that can facilitate storage of visual-verbal material e.g. Logie, Della Sella, Wynn, and Baddeley (2000). However, the observation of two-item recency contradicts the original Duplex account of single-item recency traditionally observed for backwards recognition testing of visual stimuli (Phillips and Christie, 1977).

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