Advantages and disadvantages of phonological similarity in serial recall and serial recognition of nonwords

Lian, Arild; Karlsen, Paul Johan
March 2004
Memory & Cognition;Mar2004, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p223
Academic Journal
The phonological similarity effect (PSE) was studied with lists of nonwords in one task of serial recall and one task of serial recognition. PSE was critically affected by the scoring procedure and the type of phonological similarity involved, and the effect diverged in several ways from the findings of previous studies on words. PSE was absent in serial recall, regardless of scoring procedure, when phonologically similar items that shared the midvowel were compared with phonologically distinct items. PSE was reversed when serial recall and item recall scores of rhyme items and consonant frame items were compared with distinct items, but it was present in the position accuracy score of rhyme lists. In serial recognition, PSE was absent when rhyme lists were compared with distinct lists. Recognition was better for consonant frame lists than for rhyme lists, and there was a marginally significant reversal of PSE when consonant frame lists were compared with distinct lists. In the view of Fallon, Groves, and Tehan's (1999) study and the present study, rhyming improves item recall and serial recall but diminishes position accuracy; regardless of lexicality. But consonant frame lists with differing midvowels have higher item recall, serial recall, and position accuracy scores than do rhyme lists.


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