Effects of semantic and nonsemantic cued orienting tasks on associative clustering in free recall

Robert E. Till, Randy L. Diehl, James J. Jenkins

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During presentation of a randomized list of nonadjacent associative pairs, Ss heard a cue after each word designating the task to be performed. All Ss performed two tasks. In the identical condition, Ss performed the same task on both members of an associative pair. In the nonidentical condition, Ss never performed the same task on pair members. Semantic tasks led to greater recall than did nonsemantic tasks. Also, percentage of clustering was greater when the second member of a recalled cluster had been used in a semantic task rather than a nonsemantic one. Identical and nonidentical conditions did not differ in the measure of recall. When the two tasks were a combination of one semantic and one nonsemantic task, the identical condition showed a greater percentage of clustering than the nonidentical condition. However, when the two tasks were both semantic, no difference in clustering was obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-23
Number of pages5
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1975


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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