The bizarreness effect: Dissociation between item and source memory

  • Macklin C
  • McDaniel M
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The present study investigated the relationship between memory for particular items (nouns embedded in sentences) varying in bizarreness and the spatial location in which they were learned. Consistent with earlier findings, the items embedded in bizarre sentences were better recalled than those embedded in common sentences. This mnemonic advantage for bizarre sentences did not extend to memory for source (spatial location), which did not reliably vary as a function of bizarreness. This pattern is inconsistent with several existing theoretical formulations of the relation between item and source encoding and related findings. We propose a theoretical possibility for integrating these varied findings. Finally, the expectation-violation explanation of the bizarreness effect was not supported by the absence of a relation between recall of the items and memory for context.

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  • Christopher B. Macklin

  • Mark A. McDaniel

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