Temporal coding in verbal information processing

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Two experiments using 48 undergraduates were conducted with a directed-forgetting paradigm to evaluate the degree of temporal information carried by the to-be-remembered (TBR) and the to-be-forgotten (TBF) items. Exp I employed a serial position judgment task, and Exp II employed a pairwise comparison task under either primary- or recency-judgment instructions. Both experiments show that little temporal information was evidenced in the TBF items, whereas temporal coding seemed to be “automatic” for the TBR items. Based on these observations, a contextual association theory of temporal coding is proposed that assumes “study-phase retrieval” as the basic mechanism for coding temporal relationships between items. Predictions generated from this theory were contrasted with those derived from a strength theory of recency judgment. Results from a critical experiment support contextual association theory and discredit strength theory. (25 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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