Effects of Orthographic Distinctiveness on Cued Recall in Pure and Mixed Lists

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Finch, Austin Riley
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Middle Tennessee State University
Orthographic distinctiveness in memory was evaluated with a cued recall design of common and distinct word pairs. Research has noted that distinctiveness effects arise in mixed lists for free recall and recognition, with cued recall receiving minimal research attention. Forty-four Middle Tennessee State University undergraduates were recruited to participate. Participants viewed four lists of eight word pairs that consisted of two pure lists and two mixed lists. Recall tests presented the first word from each pair, and asked participants to recall the missing word. Results showed a non-existent distinctiveness effect and a list type main effect, with mixed lists providing better recall of common and distinct material than pure lists. Alternative explanations such as the cue overload principle, associative pair strength, and intra-item relations are discussed as factors that could suppress a distinctiveness effect in cued recall. Findings from the cued recall design can be applied to other distinctiveness domains.
Cued recall, Distinctiveness, Memory, Mixed lists, Orthographic, Pure lists