Does contextual diversity affect serial recall?



Publication Details

Guitard, D., Miller, L. M., Neath, I. & Roodenrys, S. (2019). Does contextual diversity affect serial recall?. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 31 (4), 379-396.


People are better at recalling lists of high- than low-frequency words but as Parmentier, Comesãna, and Soares [(2017). Disentangling the effects of word frequency and contextual diversity on serial recall performance. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70, 1-17. doi:10.1080/17470218.2015.1105268] suggested, previous demonstrations were confounded with contextual diversity, the number of different contexts in which a word is encountered. They showed that when frequency is held constant, low contextual diversity words are recalled better than high contextual diversity words on immediate serial recall tests. We report five experiments that failed to replicate this result. Each experiment used a different set of stimuli that differed in contextual diversity but were controlled for frequency. It is possible that the effect of contextual diversity may be restricted to certain languages, such as Spanish but not English, or that the single set of Spanish stimuli used may be unique.

Please refer to publisher version or contact your library.



Link to publisher version (DOI)