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Distinctive Processing Underlies Skilled Memory

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Research on skilled memory has focused on organizational processes to the exclusion of item-specific processes, although theories of skilled memory do acknowledge the importance of both kinds of processes. Using the isolation methodology, we presented lists of American football team names to participants who had either a high or a low level of knowledge about American football. An isolation effect (greater recall of the target in the isolate list than in a homogeneous control list) was observed only with high-knowledge participants. When standard lists were used, an isolation effect was observed with both groups. These findings empirically validate the importance of both organizational and item-specific processing as the basis of distinctive processing underlying skilled memory performance.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Maryland, College Park; 2: Kent State University; and 3: University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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