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Specifying levels of processing


Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 31(2): 175-196
Specifying levels of processing
The nature of stimulus processing under semantic and nonsemantic orienting instructions was studied. Experiments (2) are reported in which subjects [human] were presented with a series of trials each beginning with the presentation of a decision word about which they made either a semantic or non-semantic orienting decision. This decision was followed by a word in colored ink whose color subjects were required to name as quickly as possible. On half the trials the colored word was the primary associate of the decision word while on the other half the 2 words were normatively unrelated. On completion of the experiments the subjects were given an unexpected free recall test. The semantic orienting condition led to longer color naming latencies on associate trials; no such difference was found in the non-semantic condition. The semantic condition produced higher levels of incidental recall. An analysis of associative clustering in recall failed to show any difference between the 2 orienting conditions. The levels of processing approach to memory was supported since they provide an index of processing depth which is independent of retention performance.


Accession: 006459257

DOI: 10.1080/14640747908400718



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