Serial Order in Spatial Immediate Memory
Abstract:Serial order effects in spatial memory are investigated in three experiments. In the first an analysis of errors in recall data suggested that immediate transpositions were the most common error and that order errors over 2 or 3 adjacent items accounted for the majority of errors in recall. The first and last serial positions are less error-prone than is the middle position in sets of six and seven items. A second experiment investigated recognition of transpositions and found that immediate transpositions were hardest to recognize but that a traditional serial position effect was not found. This may be due to the difficulty of maintaining one set of spatial items when another set is presented for comparison. A probe experiment, in which subjects were asked to recognize whether a single item came from a memory set and then to assign it to its position in the set indicated that the first and last positions were remembered more accurately than were central positions. The combination of serial order data in recall and position data suggests that there are similarities between serial order and position effects in the verbal and spatial domains and that serial order in spatial sequences is position-based.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 1, 1996