Publication Details

Miller, L. M. & Roodenrys, S. J. (2009). The interaction of word frequency and concreteness in immediate serial recall. Memory & Cognition, 37 (6), 850-865.


Word frequency and word concreteness arc language attributes that have been shown to independently int1uence the recall of items in verbal short-term memory (STM), It has been argued that such effects arc evidence for the action of long-term memory knowledge on STM traces. However, research to date has not investigated whether these variables interact in serial recall. In two experiments, we examined the behavior of these variables under factorial manipulation and demonstrated that the effect of word frequency is dependent on the level of concreteness of items, Serial recall performance is examined with reference to two explanatory approaches: Walker and Hulme's (1999) dual-redintegration account and language-based models of STM, The data indicate that language-based models arc more compatible with the observed effects and challenge the view that frequency and concreteness effects in STM are the products of distinct mechanisms.



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