Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
The availability view of memory mantains that the retrieval of categorical frequency information is a function of recall of category exemplars. The List-Strength Effect (LSE), which is evidenced when increasing the strength of competing items in a list reduces memory for the other items, has been found to be a characteristic of recall, but not recognition, performance. The present study was designed to (a) further examine the relationship between cued recall and frequency judgments of category exemplars by testing for the presence of a LSE in categorical frequency estimation; and (b) to examine the role that estimation strategies may play in judgments of frequency. The results of Experiment 1 found that (1) there was modest evidence of a LSE in categorical frequency judgment, and that (2) there was an identical pattern of effects in the statistical analyses of cued-recall and frequency estimates. These results provide some evidence as to the use of recall as an estimation strategy. Experiment 2 again showed a modest LSE in category frequency judgments. However, frequency estimation did not differ significantly when the same category exemplars were repeated in the study list (same context) versus when different category exemplars were presented (different context). Experiment 2a, in which cued recall was examined for the different-context condition, did not show a LSE. Furthermore, performance in Experiment 2a was lower than category frequency estimation performance in Experiment 2. It was concluded that recall of category exemplars plays a role in category frequency estimation, but is not the principle underlying process.
Bonanno, Joanne, "The list-strength effect and categorical frequency memory: Tests of availability" (1996). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 568.