TEMPORAL CONTIGUITY EFFECTS IN FREE-RECALL REVEAL DIFFERENTIAL RELIANCE ON CONTEXTUAL PROCESING FOR REMEMBER VS. KNOW JUDGMENTS

  • Talya Sadeh
  • Rani Moran
  • Yonatan Goshen-Gottstein

Abstract

Dual-process models postulate that recognition-memory is driven by a contextual process termed Recollection and a non-contextual process termed Familiarity. Contrary to recognition, free-recall is assumed to rely only on a contextual process. We question this assumption and, using the Remember/Know paradigm, explore whether—in addition to the long-established contextual component—recall also involves a component which relies less on context. We capitalized on the temporal-contiguity effect whereby successively-retrieved items tend to be from adjacent serial-positions in the study-list. Temporal-contiguity has been shown to be mediated by the similar context that adjacent words share. Thus, because temporal-contiguity is driven by context, we hypothesized that for Remember judgments— presumably estimating contextual processing—the established temporal-contiguity effect would be demonstrated. For "Know" judgments—presumably estimating non-contextual processing—the temporal-contiguity effect would be reduced. Results confirmed these hypotheses thus suggesting that free-recall involves two components which differ with regard to their reliance on context.

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