All varieties of encoding variability are not created equal: Separating variable processing from variable tasks.

Mark Huff, Glen Bodner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whether encoding variability facilitates memory is shown to depend on whether item-specific and relational processing are both performed across study blocks, and whether study items are weakly vs. strongly related. Variable-processing groups studied a word list once using an item-specific task and once using a relational task. Variable-task groups' two different study tasks recruited the same type of processing each block. Repeated-task groups performed the same study task each block. Recall and recognition were greatest in the variable-processing group, but only with weakly related lists. A variable-processing benefit was also found when task-based processing and list-type processing were complementary (e.g., item-specific processing of a related list) rather than redundant (e.g., relational processing of a related list). That performing both item-specific and relational processing across trials, or within a trial, yields encoding-variability benefits may help reconcile decades of contradictory findings in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-58
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Volume73
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

Keywords

  • Encoding variability
  • False recognition
  • Free recall
  • Item-specific and relational processing
  • Recognition

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