This study examined the recall of subject-generated and experimenter-provided target words as a function of whether or not the encoding cue was congruous or incongruous. Previous research has established that, for experimenter-provided items, congruous targets are recalled better than incongruous targets. However, in the case of self-generated targets, some researchers have reported a reversal of this effect ("the incongruity effect") while others have not. The subjects were 55 undergraduate psychology students from the University of Central Florida.
In the experimenter-provided condition, subjects received congruous and incongruous question stems with the target word written in directly below the question. In the subject-generated condition, subjects were provided with the question stem and the first letter of the word [i.e., "It is a type of metal? s _ ;" (congruous) and "It is not a type of metal? s _ " (incongruous)]. With respect to experimenter-presented items, it was anticipated that the standard congruity effect would be obtained. The data supported this hypothesis. However, the more interesting question posed by the present experiment was whether an incongruity or a congruity effect would be obtained for subject-generated items. In fact, recall of congruous and incongruous subject-generated items did not differ significantly. These results provide little support for the hypothesis that self-generated items yield an "incongruity effect." Instead, when superior recall of incongruous self-generated items is obtained, it i probably due to idiosyncratic item selection effects.
Thomas, Margaret H.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
Haynes, Susan E., "Idiosyncratic item selection effects: do they produce the incongruity effect?/" (1988). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 4285.