Compound stimuli in paired-associate learning

Leonard M. Horowitz, Louis G. Kippman, S A Norman, George W. McConkie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In several paired-associate (PA) tasks, triads of words served as stimuli. The associative relationship between the words of a triad was systematically varied. Words of each H (horizontal) triad were interassociated, while those of the I (independent) triads were not. Words of the V (vertical) triads were associated with words of other V triads but not with each other. In Experiment I, 30 Ss learned each type of item. Performance on the H items was facilitated, and that on the V items was hindered (p <.001). Experiment II (N = 30) replicated this result and provided control data with single-word stimuli. PA performance with stimulus triads was always poorer than that with single-word stimuli (p <.001). Experiment III (N = 60) examined the generality of these results. A single view of PA learning is proposed to integrate several interpretations of the results, and implications for serial learning are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-141
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1964
Externally publishedYes



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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