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A direct comparison of recognition failure rates for recallable names in episodic and semantic memory tests


A direct comparison of recognition failure rates for recallable names in episodic and semantic memory tests



Memory and Cognition 11(2): 161-171



ISSN/ISBN: 0090-502X

PMID: 6865750

DOI: 10.3758/bf03213471

In an extension of Muter's research, subjects studied pairs of lowercase cues and uppercase targets consisting of famous names (e.g., betsy ROSS), nonfamous names (e.g., edwin CONWAY), weakly related words (e.g., grasp BABY) and unrelated words (e.g., art GO). Following recognition tests in which surname and word targets were tested in the absence of their cues, cued recall tests for the surname and word targets were given. In semantic recognition and recall tests, the response to a surname was to be made solely on the basis of its fame, regardless of whether or not it had appeared in the study list. In episodic memory tests, the response to a surname was to be made solely on the basis of whether or not it had appeared in the study list, regardless of its fame. In all tests, the response to a nonname was to be made solely on the basis of whether or not it had appeared in the study list. The Tulving-Wiseman function accurately predicted recognition failure rates for famous surnames, whether or not they were from the study list and whether the test was episodic or semantic and for targets from the weakly related word pairs. Recognition failure rates were lower than the Tulving-Wiseman function predicted for nonfamous surnames in the episodic memory test and for targets from unrelated word pairs. Discussion focused on these results' implications for the nature of the Tulving-Wiseman function and the psychological reality of the episodic-semantic memory distinction.

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Accession: 004571197

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