Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Keith Horton

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Two experiments were carried out to investigate the role of rating task, displaced rehearsal, and the value of words on the retention of items processed at the semantic level. In Experiment I, the subjects rated medium value words for either pleasantness or frequency under free rehearsal conditions. The results revealed no retention differences between words judged for pleasantness and those judged for frequency. In Experiment II, high and low pleasantness and high and low frequency values were factorially combined within a single list of words. In the free rehearsal condition, words were judged on either the pleasantness or frequency rating dimensions. In the forced rehearsal condition I, subjects compared the target words with a pair of intralist comparison words. In the forced rehearsal condition II, subjects compared the target words with a pair of extralist words. Recall was found to be significantly higher for words judged on the pleasantness that the frequency dimension in all three rehearsal conditions. This indicated the superiority of the pleasantness rating task over the frequency rating task when high and low value words were used. Existence of retention differences between the pleasantness and frequency tasks in the forced rehearsal conditions I and II also indicate that factors other than displaced rehearsal may be operating. Better recall of high pleasantness words than low pleasantness words for low frequency value but not for high frequency value suggested that item properties (values) interact.

Convocation Year