Memory for information about persons: the effect of encoding operations on subsequent retrieval

Thomas K. Srull, Julianne F. Brand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three experiments designed to test the hypothesis that list length effects are a function of encoding as well as retrieval processes are reported. Subjects in Experiment 1 were presented with a list of behaviors, each of which had been ostensibly performed by one of two target persons. Subjects attempting to learn the information as well as possible manifested strong between-category and within-category list length effects. However, subjects who expected to interact with one of the targets at a later time manifested only within-category list length effects. Experiment 2 demonstrated that when the list contained two categories (nouns and adjectives), but all of the informatioin pertained to a single target person, both orienting tasks produced both types of list length effects. Experiment 3 demonstrated that the two types of list length effects are also affected by encoding operations when subjects learn unrelated lists of words. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for the recent SAM model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-230
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

Cite this