In three experiments, cued recall of sentences was found to vary with the type of orienting task performed during sentence presentation. Retrieval cues referred to information probably inferred from the sentences. Each of the semantic tasks led to greater recall than did the nonsernantic task; this task effect occurred in a between-subjects design and in a within-subjects design. Furthermore, the use of a task-indicating signal after each sentence, in the within-subjects design, allowed the manipulation of the timing and type of orienting task. The task effect on recall appeared even with a delay of the task-indicating signal and/or the addition of an initial semantic task (performed prior to the indicated task). The findings suggest both a processing explanation and an interruption explanation of task effects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)