The free recall of category examples
24 undergraduates recalled the names of as many animals, birds, foods, or cold foods as they could in 15- or 30-min sessions. In each task, the rate of item production decreased with increasing time, and semantically related items were produced in spurts over time. Results are consistent with a proposed 2-stage model in which people (a) search for semantic fields and (b) produce whatever items are encountered when a field is located. It is proposed that time between clusters increases hyperbolically in these tasks, reflecting the search for semantic fields, and that the time between items within clusters, and the number of items in each cluster, are independent of time in the task, reflecting the production of items in discovered fields. On these bases an algorithm is introduced that partitions clusters by the temporal patterning between words in the protocols. The temporally-based algorithm provides a description of the data that highly correlates with the semantic structure as depicted by judges' ratings. These correlated temporal and semantic measures may reflect aspects of the search process and the structure of memory. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1980 American Psychological Association.
Gruenewald, PJ; Lockhead, GR
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