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The vocalization effect in short-term recall Curry, Clyde Charles

Abstract

The relationship between increases in the vigor with which subjects vocalize to-be-remembered items and improvement in short-term recall was investigated. Of particular interest was whether the effects of vocalization are due to increases in the articulatory input or the auditory input which a subject receives, concommitent to increases in vocalization. Unlike previous investigations, the present study involved an independent manipulation of the auditory and the articulatory input levels. A series of nine-consonant lists was visually presented. One experimental group articulated the lists as they were presented, a second did not. Subjects in both experimental groups heard lists at two levels of auditory intensity. A control group neither articulated nor heard the visually presented list. Neither articulation nor auditory-input intensity affected recall. However, subjects receiving auditory input, regardless of level, recalled more items from the last three serial positions of the lists, and fewer from the middle three serial positions of the lists, than did control subjects. The results were interpreted in terms of an echoic memory system for auditory information, and alternatively, in terms of possible differences in learning or recall strategies between the experimental and control subjects.

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