A spacing account of negative recency in final free recall

Joel R. Kuhn, Lynn Lohnas, Michael J. Kahana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The well-known recency effect in immediate free recall reverses when subjects attempt to recall items studied and tested on a series of prior lists, as in the final-free-recall procedure (Craik, 1970). In this case, the last few items on each list are actually remembered less well than are the midlist items. Because dual-store theories of recall naturally predict negative recency, this phenomenon has long been cited as evidence favoring these models. In a final-free-recall study, we replicate the negative-recency effect for the within-list serial position curve and the positive-recency effect for the between-list serial position curve. Whereas we find prominent negative recency for items recalled early in the initial recall period, this effect is markedly reduced for items recalled later in the recall period. When considering initial recall as a second presentation of studied items, we find that the probability of final free recall increases as the number of items between initial presentation and initial recall increases. These results suggest that negative recency may reflect the beneficial effects of spaced practice, in which end-of-list items recalled early constitute massed repetitions and end-of-list items recalled late are spaced repetitions. To help distinguish between the spacing account and the prevailing dual-store, rehearsal-based account, we examined negative recency in continual-distractor free recall. Contrary to the dual-store account, but in accord with the spacing account, we find robust negative recency in continual-distractor free recall, which is greater for those items recalled early in output.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1180-1185
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Volume44
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Short-Term Memory
Practice (Psychology)
Spacing
Recency
Free Recall
evidence

Keywords

  • Free recall
  • Recency effect
  • Spacing effect
  • Testing effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

A spacing account of negative recency in final free recall. / Kuhn, Joel R.; Lohnas, Lynn; Kahana, Michael J.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, Vol. 44, No. 8, 01.08.2018, p. 1180-1185.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{30f30bb70e5841128d4a8704babed28e,
title = "A spacing account of negative recency in final free recall",
abstract = "The well-known recency effect in immediate free recall reverses when subjects attempt to recall items studied and tested on a series of prior lists, as in the final-free-recall procedure (Craik, 1970). In this case, the last few items on each list are actually remembered less well than are the midlist items. Because dual-store theories of recall naturally predict negative recency, this phenomenon has long been cited as evidence favoring these models. In a final-free-recall study, we replicate the negative-recency effect for the within-list serial position curve and the positive-recency effect for the between-list serial position curve. Whereas we find prominent negative recency for items recalled early in the initial recall period, this effect is markedly reduced for items recalled later in the recall period. When considering initial recall as a second presentation of studied items, we find that the probability of final free recall increases as the number of items between initial presentation and initial recall increases. These results suggest that negative recency may reflect the beneficial effects of spaced practice, in which end-of-list items recalled early constitute massed repetitions and end-of-list items recalled late are spaced repetitions. To help distinguish between the spacing account and the prevailing dual-store, rehearsal-based account, we examined negative recency in continual-distractor free recall. Contrary to the dual-store account, but in accord with the spacing account, we find robust negative recency in continual-distractor free recall, which is greater for those items recalled early in output.",
keywords = "Free recall, Recency effect, Spacing effect, Testing effect",
author = "Kuhn, {Joel R.} and Lynn Lohnas and Kahana, {Michael J.}",
year = "2018",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1037/xlm0000491",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "44",
pages = "1180--1185",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition",
issn = "0278-7393",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "8",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A spacing account of negative recency in final free recall

AU - Kuhn, Joel R.

AU - Lohnas, Lynn

AU - Kahana, Michael J.

PY - 2018/8/1

Y1 - 2018/8/1

N2 - The well-known recency effect in immediate free recall reverses when subjects attempt to recall items studied and tested on a series of prior lists, as in the final-free-recall procedure (Craik, 1970). In this case, the last few items on each list are actually remembered less well than are the midlist items. Because dual-store theories of recall naturally predict negative recency, this phenomenon has long been cited as evidence favoring these models. In a final-free-recall study, we replicate the negative-recency effect for the within-list serial position curve and the positive-recency effect for the between-list serial position curve. Whereas we find prominent negative recency for items recalled early in the initial recall period, this effect is markedly reduced for items recalled later in the recall period. When considering initial recall as a second presentation of studied items, we find that the probability of final free recall increases as the number of items between initial presentation and initial recall increases. These results suggest that negative recency may reflect the beneficial effects of spaced practice, in which end-of-list items recalled early constitute massed repetitions and end-of-list items recalled late are spaced repetitions. To help distinguish between the spacing account and the prevailing dual-store, rehearsal-based account, we examined negative recency in continual-distractor free recall. Contrary to the dual-store account, but in accord with the spacing account, we find robust negative recency in continual-distractor free recall, which is greater for those items recalled early in output.

AB - The well-known recency effect in immediate free recall reverses when subjects attempt to recall items studied and tested on a series of prior lists, as in the final-free-recall procedure (Craik, 1970). In this case, the last few items on each list are actually remembered less well than are the midlist items. Because dual-store theories of recall naturally predict negative recency, this phenomenon has long been cited as evidence favoring these models. In a final-free-recall study, we replicate the negative-recency effect for the within-list serial position curve and the positive-recency effect for the between-list serial position curve. Whereas we find prominent negative recency for items recalled early in the initial recall period, this effect is markedly reduced for items recalled later in the recall period. When considering initial recall as a second presentation of studied items, we find that the probability of final free recall increases as the number of items between initial presentation and initial recall increases. These results suggest that negative recency may reflect the beneficial effects of spaced practice, in which end-of-list items recalled early constitute massed repetitions and end-of-list items recalled late are spaced repetitions. To help distinguish between the spacing account and the prevailing dual-store, rehearsal-based account, we examined negative recency in continual-distractor free recall. Contrary to the dual-store account, but in accord with the spacing account, we find robust negative recency in continual-distractor free recall, which is greater for those items recalled early in output.

KW - Free recall

KW - Recency effect

KW - Spacing effect

KW - Testing effect

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85045327829&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85045327829&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/xlm0000491

DO - 10.1037/xlm0000491

M3 - Article

C2 - 29648866

AN - SCOPUS:85045327829

VL - 44

SP - 1180

EP - 1185

JO - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition

JF - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition

SN - 0278-7393

IS - 8

ER -