PRESENTATION RATE, RETENTION INTERVAL, AND ENCODING IN SHORT-TERM RECOGNITION MEMORY FOR HOMONYMS, SYNONYMS, AND IDENTICAL WORDS.
MICHIGAN UNIV ANN ARBOR HUMAN PERFORMANCE CENTER
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A review of the literature on phonemic and semantic similarity in short term memory STM revealed that semantic encoding is readily demonstrated in STM tasks, but only when the task requires it, or when slow rates of incoming information are used. To account for this feature of the data it was proposed that the encoding of information into STM is a time dependent process which must be traded off or time-shared with rehearsal. The encoding of phonemic information is assumed to be faster than semantic encoding, hence leaves more time for rehearsal which is a useful strategy in an STM task. Thus encoding will be primarily phonemic in STM unless task demands require semantic encoding. An experiment was done to investigate the hypothesis that encoding in STM is time dependent. A further object was to study the retention functions for semantic and phonemic information separately in order to determine whether both functions were of the type generally attributed to traces in STM. The results showed that semantic encoding was possible in STM and that the retention functions for the semantic, phonemic, and identical similarity conditions were similar in shape. The predicted interaction between presentation rate and type of encoding was also found. Author