Marsh, John Everett, Beaman, Phillip, Hughes, Rob and Jones, Dylan M.
Inhibitory control in memory: Evidence for negative priming in free recall.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38
Cognitive control mechanisms—such as inhibition—decrease the likelihood that goal-directed activity is ceded to irrelevant events. Here, we use the action of auditory distraction to show how retrieval from episodic long-term memory is affected by competitor inhibition. Typically, a sequence of to-be-ignored spoken distracters drawn from the same semantic category as a list of visually presented to-be-recalled items impairs free recall performance. In line with competitor inhibition theory (Anderson, 2003), free recall was worse for items on a probe trial if they were a repeat of distracter items presented during the previous, prime, trial (Experiment 1). This effect was produced only when the distracters were dominant members of the same category as the to-be-recalled items on the prime. For prime trials in which distracters were low-dominant members of the to-be-remembered item category or were unrelated to that category—and hence not strong competitors for retrieval—positive priming was found (Experiments 2 and 3). These results are discussed in terms of inhibitory approaches to negative priming and memory retrieval.
This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.