Pure-list Production Improves Item Recognition and Sometimes Also Improves Source Memory

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Relative to reading silently, reading words aloud (a type of “production”) typically enhances item recognition, even when production is manipulated between groups using pure lists. We investigated whether pure-list production also enhances memory for various item details (i.e., source memory). Screen side (Experiment 1), font size (Experiment 2), or reading versus generating from anagrams (Experiments 34) were the sources varied within-subject, and aloud versus silent reading was varied across groups. Thus, the manipulation of source was apparent to participants, whereas the manipulation of production was not. Traditional measures and multinomial modeling established that the aloud groups generally showed improved item recognition—and showed improved source memory when steps were taken to enhance the salience of the source manipulation (Experiment 4). In summary, reading an entire list of items improves item recognition and can also improve memory for some types of source details.

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Memory & Cognition