Date of Award

Spring 2013


The current study examined the role of distinctive processing on the production effect (i.e., enhanced memory for words read aloud versus silently). Participants read a mixed list of thirty-six words presented one at a time for three-seconds each. Half of the items were read aloud and half were read silently; these word lists were comprised of items belonging to either natural categories or ad hoc categories. Immediately following study, participants completed a free recall test then a recognition test two days later. Results from recall and recognition tests support a distinctiveness account of the production effect. The current results support MacLeod et. al’s (2010) suggestion that distinctiveness underlies the production effect. Specifically, reading words aloud increases item-specific processing, a crucial component of distinctive processing.


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