Date of Award

Spring 2014

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Jones


When reading a mixed list of words, participants show better memory for uncommon words compared to common words (McDaniel & Bugg, 2008). The research suggests differential memory effects in item-order encoding between mixed and pure lists. Uncommon words lead to item-specific encoding whereas common words lead to order encoding. Similarly, the production effect shows that, when reading a mixed list (some words aloud, others silently), participants show better memory for the words read aloud, but the effect does not obtain for pure lists. The purpose of this study is to examine if the production effect is due to differences in item-order encoding. Sixty-five John Carroll University undergraduates read six lists of sixteen words one at a time. Some participants read all words aloud (pure aloud), some read all words silently (pure silent); some read half of the words aloud and half silently depending on font color (mixed). At the end of each list, all participants completed a one-minute free recall task. After the final free recall task for the last list, all participants completed an order reconstruction task. Recall accuracy, input-output correspondence, and order reconstruction were examined using ANOVAs and t-tests. Basic production effect findings were replicated; aloud words were better remembered than silent words only for the mixed list group (Jones & Pyc, 2013). Further, because aloud words can be considered “uncommon”, we saw a decrease in order measures for the aloud items on a mixed list compared to the pure list. Similarly, order measures increased for silent words, which can be considered “common”. Thus, the production effect can be considered another example of how item-order encoding varies in mixed/pure list learning.

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Psychology Commons