Effect of List Position on Free Recall Essay

Effect of List Position on Free Recall Essay

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In our daily lives, we constantly try to store and retrieve information from our memory. Sometimes the retrieval process is quite simple, while other times it seems to be almost impossible. An experiment was done to investigate the effect of list position on free recall. The serial position effect refers to the U-shaped pattern presentation on a free recall task. The accuracy of item recall depends on the order that the stimulus is presented. The serial position curve is an example of how the recency and primacy effect appears to have influence on recall. Primacy effect results from initial observations and it is believed that the first few items of the list is remembered the second best. The recency effect results from the final observations and it is believed that these are the items that are recalled the best. The regency and primacy effect lends support to the interference theory. This theory states that forgetting occurs as a result of interfering information with the recall information. There are two aspects to this theory- retroactive interference and proactive interference. Retroactive interference occurs when a participant has difficulty recalling old information due to the interference of newly learned information. The primacy effect is subjected to the retroactive interference. In contrast, proactive interference occurs when a participant has difficulty learning new information due to the already learned information. The recency effect is subjected proactive interference.
Once the trial begins, string of ten letters is presented. Once the sequence of letters are presented, a keypad containing letters appear on the right hand side. The participant’s task is to try to recall the letters presented in any...

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...to recover cups from drawers while memorizing the letters inside the cups. The first two experiments used forward serial recall while the third experiment used free recall. The study conducted conflicted with the results of serial position curve. In this study, the recency effect was eliminated and the primacy effect was attained. Although previous studies were able to show that the recency effect can eliminated if there is a sufficient amount of interference after learning, the same reasoning could not be applied in this study, as the perceptual task was not preformed longer here. These findings provide evidence that the recency effect was eliminated due to motor interference. This study suggests that demanding motor tasks effects memory due to proactive interference. Thus, Serial position experiment can aid I adjusting our current knowledge about memory.

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