Tamra J Bireta

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The word length effect, the finding that words that have fewer syllables are recalled better than otherwise comparable words that have more syllables, is one of the benchmark effects that must be accounted for in any model of serial recall, and simulation models of immediate memory rely heavily on the finding. However, previous research has shown that the(More)
The authors report 2 experiments that compare the recall of long and short words in pure and mixed lists. In pure lists, long words were much more poorly remembered than short words. In mixed lists, this word-length effect was abolished and both the long and short words were recalled as well as short words in pure lists. These findings contradict current(More)
The word length effect is the finding that short items are remembered better than long items on immediate serial recall tests. The time-based word length effect refers to this finding when the lists comprise items that vary only in pronunciation time. Three experiments compared recall of three different sets of disyllabic words that differed systematically(More)
The word length effect, the finding that lists of short words are better recalled than lists of long words, has been termed one of the benchmark findings that any theory of immediate memory must account for. Indeed, the effect led directly to the development of working memory and the phonological loop, and it is viewed as the best remaining evidence for(More)
When one item is made distinct from the other items in a list, memory for the distinctive item is improved, a finding known as the isolation or von Restorff effect (after von Restorff, 1933). Although demonstrated numerous times with younger adults and children, this effect has not been found with older adults (Cimbalo & Brink, 1982). In contrast to the(More)
Working memory was designed to explain four benchmark memory effects: the word length effect, the irrelevant speech effect, the acoustic confusion effect, and the concurrent articulation effect. However, almost all research thus far has used tests that emphasize forward recall. In four experiments, we examine whether each effect is observable when the items(More)
When items in a to-be-remembered list sound similar, recall performance is worse than when items are acoustically distinct, what is known as the acoustic confusion effect (ACE). When participants are asked to tap a syncopated rhythm during list presentation, the difference between the acoustically similar and dissimilar conditions is abolished; however,(More)
Immediate serial recall of visually presented verbal stimuli is impaired by the presence of irrelevant auditory background speech, the so-called irrelevant speech effect. Two of the three main accounts of this effect place restrictions on when it will be observed, limiting its occurrence either to items processed by the phonological loop (the phonological(More)
The word length effect is the finding that a list of items that take less time to pronounce is better recalled on an immediate serial recall test than an otherwise equivalent list of items that take more time to pronounce. Contrary to the predictions of all major models of the word length effect, Hulme, Suprenant, Bireta, Stuart, and Neath (2004) found that(More)
The acoustic confusion effect is the finding that lists of to-be-remembered items that sound similar to one another are recalled worse than otherwise comparable lists of items that sound different. Previous work has shown that concurrent irrelevant speech and concurrent irrelevant tapping both reduce the size of this effect, suggesting similarities between(More)