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Item effects in recognition memory for words


Freeman, A and Heathcote, A and Chalmers, K and Hockley, W, Item effects in recognition memory for words, Journal of Memory and Language, 62 pp. 1-18. ISSN 0749-596X (2009) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jml.2009.09.004


We investigate the effects of word characteristics on episodic recognition memory using analyses that avoid Clark’s (1973) ‘‘language-as-a-fixed-effect" fallacy. Our results demonstrate the importance of modeling word variability and show that episodic memory for words is strongly affected by item noise (Criss & Shiffrin, 2004), as measured by the orthographic similarity between experimental items. We found that the word frequency effect was not related to the item noise effects, whereas the effect of neighborhood density, which measures the similarity of a word to all other words in the lexicon, was greatly attenuated when item noise was controlled. Our results are also consistent with a likelihood based recognition decision mechanism that produces a mirror effect by taking into account item and subject characteristics.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Decision making
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
ID Code:98876
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2015-03-05
Last Modified:2015-05-13

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