LEARNING AND SHORT-TERM RETENTION OF PAIRED ASSOCIATES IN RELATION TO SPECIFIC SEQUENCES OF INTERPRESENTATION INTERVALS.
STANFORD UNIV CALIF INST FOR MATHEMATICAL STUDIES IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
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The dissertation reports a study of short-term retention in paired-associate list learning. One purpose of the study was to ascertain empirically the extent to which short-term memory influences performance during the acquisition of a list of paired associates a second was to gather evidence with respect to the conceptual relationship of short-term memory and learning. The particular experimental behavior chosen for study was the learning of a list of paired associates by means of a series of anticipation trials. An anticipation trial starts with the presentation of a stimulus to which the subject attempts to anticipate the correct response and ends with a presentation of the correct response. During an experimental session, the trials on any one item presentation sequence are characterized by a sequence of interpresentation intervals that is, any two successive presentations of an item are separated by some number of trials on other items. The experimental design modified the standard anticipation procedure in two ways. 1 The series of trials was generated by a computer-implemented algorithm designed to yield a uniform distribution of interpresentation intervals. 2 All subjects had the same series of trials in the sense that each had the same set of presentation sequences. The confounding of item differences with the effects of the presentation sequences was avoided by counterbalancing across subjects the assignment of items to presentation sequences. Author