Situation Models and Retrieval Interference: Pictures and Words
Previous studies have found that interference in long-term memory retrieval occurs when information cannot be integrated into a single situation model, but this interference is greatly reduced or absent when the information can be so integrated. The current study looked at the influence of presentation format-entences or pictures-on this observed pattern. When sentences were used at memorisation and recognition, a spatial organisation was observed. In contrast, when pictures were used, a different pattern of results was observed. Specifically, there was an overall speed-up in response times, and consistent evidence of interference. Possible explanations for this difference were examined in a third experiment using pictures during learning, but sentences during recognition. The results from Experiment 3 were consistent with the organisation of information into situation models in long-term memory, even from pictures. This suggests that people do create situation models when learning pictures, but their recognition memory may be oriented around more "verbatim", surface-form memories of the pictures.
Radvansky, G. A.,
Copeland, D. E.
(2006). Situation Models and Retrieval Interference: Pictures and Words. Memory, 14(5), 614-623.
Available at: http://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/2332