Judgments of relative frequency in relation to shifts of event frequencies: Evidence for a limited-capacity model

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In 2 experiments with 104 young adult Ss, shifts of item frequencies in a judgment-of-relative frequency paradigm were used to test differential implications of limited vs unlimited capacity models. In a within-list design, relative frequencies of presentation of items (words or CVC strings) were shifted after different numbers of observation trials, and tests were given after different numbers of postshift trials. During both pre- and postshift learning, judgments of relative frequency approached an asymptotic level of frequency matching, and the degree to which judgments were determined by memory for frequency proved relatively independent of number of preshift observation trials. These results are most compatible with a limited-capacity context model, which also provides a quantitative account of the full pattern of data over a limited range of observation-test cycles. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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