Distinctiveness of sentences and images and the bizarreness effect



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Texas Tech University


Although empirical investigation of the mnemonic effectiveness of bizarreness has been conducted for several decades, that research has yet to determine the roles and/or necessity of imaginal and verbal processing in obtaining bizarreness effects. The present study used procedures that produced a significant separation between imaginal and verbal processing, to demonstrate that bizarreness can be mnemonically effective regardless whether the bizarre elaboration is predominantly imaginal, predominantly verbal, or equivalently verbal and imaginal in nature. Similarly, bizarreness effects were obtained regardless of whether subjects generated images or mentally reproduced images provided for them. In general, the results support neither purely imaginal nor purely semantic accounts of bizarreness effects on recall, but are in keeping with a more inclusive expectation-violation explanation (Hirshman, Whelley & Palij, 1989) . The results also provide some support for the independent effects of intralist and extralist distinctiveness (i.e., Worthen & Marshall, in press) and dual coding theory (Paivio, 1971, 1991).



Human information processing, Imagery (Psychology), Recognition (Psychology)