The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

Working memory and the novelty effect: Testing the novelty/encoding hypothesis


Using thirteen male and eleven female undergraduate students as participants the novelty/encoding hypothesis (NEH), as offered by Tulving & Kroll (1995) was tested. Participants were verbally presented with a list of either familiar or unfamiliar words and later given a test containing some of the words they had heard and some distracter words. Participants were asked to give positive identifications of the words they were presented with in the first phase of the experiment while being subjected to the verbal recitation of lists of either familiar or unfamiliar words. As predicted by the NEH participants in the high familiarity interference/ low familiarity recognition task gave significantly more correct identifications than those in the low familiarity interference/ high familiarity recognition task condition t(20) = 2.16, p<.05, .22. However, there was no significant difference between the two groups with respect to overall accuracy scores t(20) = 1.00, p <.05. These results offer support to Tulving & KroU's (1995) NEH, but suggest that the effects of such a mechanism are not as robust or as wide ranging in scope as they had theorized.

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