The Generation Effect

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By jacquij1969
Words 551
Pages 3
Representation in the mental lexicon:
Implications for theories of the generation effect
Three experiments investigated the finding by McElroy and Slamecka (1982) that the "generation effect" (the retention advantage for self-produced over read items) is not obtained when artificial, meaningless nonwords are used as the to-be-remembered items.
In Experiment 1, some subjects were asked to generate or read items that they thought were words, but, in fact, were not; no generation effect was found.
In Experiment 2, subjects were taught definitions to experimenter-created items. Despite the fact that these subjects could readily retrieve each item's assigned semantic properties, no generation effect was found.
Experiment 3 examined the read/generate variable as a function of an item's frequency of use in the language.
Whereas medium- and high-frequency words produced large generation effects, no comparable effects were found for low-frequency words or nonwords. These results indicate that representation in the mental lexicon is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for the generation effect. Rather, it may be necessary to consider how related the generated item is to other potential retrieval cues in the memory system.
( it was highlighted that semantic meaning was not enough to produce a generation effect. Nairne et al suggested that word association, not just lexicon entry, in the mental lexicon
May be another factor in the production of the generation effect. Therefore a word may have several associations in the mental lexicon retrievable by cues, which trigger the recall of specific words.

In a number of recent studies, a retention advantage has been demonstrated for items that are self-produced, rather than read, by subjects during the study phase of a memory
This advantage, which is referred to as…...

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