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The memorability of names and the divergent effects of prior experience

Stenberg, Georg LU ; Hellman, Johan LU and Johansson, Mikael LU (2008) In European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 20(2). p.312-345
Abstract
Pre-experimental familiarity can have paradoxical effects on episodic memory. Knowledge of the stimulus domain usually enhances memory, but word frequency - a presumed correlate of prior experience - is negatively related to recognition accuracy. The present study examined episodic recognition of names and its relation to two measures of pre-experimental knowledge, name frequency, and fame. Frequency was operationalised as the number of hits in a national telephone directory, and fame as hits on national mass media websites. Recognition accuracy was increased by fame, but diminished by frequency. Four experiments confirmed the findings, using yes/no recognition, ROC curves, and remember-know paradigms. Hit rates were consistently more... (More)
Pre-experimental familiarity can have paradoxical effects on episodic memory. Knowledge of the stimulus domain usually enhances memory, but word frequency - a presumed correlate of prior experience - is negatively related to recognition accuracy. The present study examined episodic recognition of names and its relation to two measures of pre-experimental knowledge, name frequency, and fame. Frequency was operationalised as the number of hits in a national telephone directory, and fame as hits on national mass media websites. Recognition accuracy was increased by fame, but diminished by frequency. Four experiments confirmed the findings, using yes/no recognition, ROC curves, and remember-know paradigms. Hit rates were consistently more strongly influenced by fame than by frequency, whereas the reverse was true for false alarm rates. These dissociations suggest that two different forms of semantic memory, specific and nonspecific knowledge, interact with episodic memory in separate ways. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
European Journal of Cognitive Psychology
volume
20
issue
2
pages
312 - 345
publisher
Psychology Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000254049000007
  • scopus:38949186406
ISSN
1464-0635
DOI
10.1080/09541440701398724
project
Cognition, Communication and Learning
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b74c628a-8855-436d-8826-de845e74a27a (old id 939982)
date added to LUP
2008-02-01 14:55:45
date last changed
2017-01-01 07:55:08
@article{b74c628a-8855-436d-8826-de845e74a27a,
  abstract     = {Pre-experimental familiarity can have paradoxical effects on episodic memory. Knowledge of the stimulus domain usually enhances memory, but word frequency - a presumed correlate of prior experience - is negatively related to recognition accuracy. The present study examined episodic recognition of names and its relation to two measures of pre-experimental knowledge, name frequency, and fame. Frequency was operationalised as the number of hits in a national telephone directory, and fame as hits on national mass media websites. Recognition accuracy was increased by fame, but diminished by frequency. Four experiments confirmed the findings, using yes/no recognition, ROC curves, and remember-know paradigms. Hit rates were consistently more strongly influenced by fame than by frequency, whereas the reverse was true for false alarm rates. These dissociations suggest that two different forms of semantic memory, specific and nonspecific knowledge, interact with episodic memory in separate ways.},
  author       = {Stenberg, Georg and Hellman, Johan and Johansson, Mikael},
  issn         = {1464-0635},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {312--345},
  publisher    = {Psychology Press},
  series       = {European Journal of Cognitive Psychology},
  title        = {The memorability of names and the divergent effects of prior experience},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09541440701398724},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2008},
}