Proactive interference: Buildup and release for individual words

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Examined buildup and release of proactive interference (PI) as a function of similarity of taxonomic category of individual words within word triads. In Exp I (100 female Ss), the 5th trial of each block of 5 trials was characterized by changes in taxonomic category of the entire triad, the 1st word, the 2nd word, the 3rd word, or none of the words. Results indicate that release was specific to changed words. Exp II (150 male and female Ss) studied both PI buildup and release. Five buildup conditions were crossed with 5 release conditions. Conditions consisted of triads in which all 3 words, 2 words, or only 1 word came from the same taxonomic category as words in previous triads. In 2 other conditions, either a different taxonomic category was presented in each trial, or all words came from different categories. Results show that both PI buildup and release operate as a function of the similarity of individual words within a triad. These findings indicate some boundaries to hypotheses offered by G. H. Bower and D. Winzenz (see record 1969-10696-001) and N. F. Johnson (1970) concerning retrieval of memory codes. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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