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Orthographic distinctiveness and memory for order

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Orthographic distinctiveness (as measured by neighbourhood size) may have complex effects on memory. Previous research has shown that words with small orthographic neighbourhoods show an advantage in item recognition, while words with large neighbourhoods show an advantage in associative recognition. The effects of neighbourhood size on immediate memory for order may be similarly complex. Immediate item position reconstruction of six-word lists drawn from a large stimulus pool shows an advantage for small-neighbourhood words. However, when memory for order is tested through immediate serial recall, the reverse is found, with large-neighbourhood words showing an advantage.
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Keywords: Memory; Memory processing; Orthographic distinctiveness; Orthographic neighbourhood size; Reconstruction task

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX, USA 2: Department of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2012

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