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Lecture 1

Psychology 46-358 Lecture 1: Production effect and levels of processing

Course Code
PSYC 3580
Anne Baird

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Production effect and levels of processing
Production effect
- Memory tends to be better if a person has to produce a response during encoding,
compared to encoding with no production
- Typical studies include reading out loud
- May use between subject designs or within subject designs
- Distinctiveness effect: people are better able to distinguish target items from
distractor items
- Phase 1
Series of words shown in red or yellow
Yellow words= read out loud
Red= read silently
60 words shown in phase 1
- Phase 2
Series of words shown: half from phase 1, half new
Was this word in phase 1?
120 words shown in phase 2
- On each trail, we saw red or yellow word and asked to read yellow words out loud
and red words silently
- Recognition test: asked to decide if word had been seen before
- Independent variable: whether word was read silently or aloud
- Dependent variable: performance on recognition test. For all items, measure is
proportion of yes responses. Hit rate for read aloud and read silently items. False
alarm rate for new items.
- You should find you were more accurate for words read aloud compared to words
read silently
- Basic production effect is quite robust (around 10-20% better when reading aloud).
However, effect works only when you experience both conditions.
Type of item Proportion “yes”
- Read aloud SD= .698 (.208)
- Read silently SD= .593 (.203)
- New= .269 (.180)
Saying a word out loud produces both a neural and motor response which may help with
the recognition aspect
There would most likely be a production effect for recall
Constantly saying someone’s name at a party may help you remember the name
Levels of processing
Perception of memory
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