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An item/order trade‐off explanation of word length and generation effects

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The item-order hypothesis suggests that under certain conditions increased item processing can lead to deficits in order processing, and that this produces a dissociation in performance between item and order tasks. The generation effect is one such example. The word length effect is seen as another instance where this trade-off might be observed. The following experiments compare word length and generation effects under serial recall and single item recognition conditions. Short words are better recalled than long words on the serial recall task but long words were better recognised than short words. The results are consistent with the item-order approach and support a novel explanation for the word length effect.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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