Response hierarchy changes resulting from learning additional associations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Investigated the effects on an entire response hierarchy which result from learning 1 or 2 responses to the stimulus. 126 university Ss learned 2 paired-associate lists having some stimuli in common and some unique to each list, then gave free associations to the stimulus words after 1 of 3 retention intervals (1, 16, or 76 min.). A model based on R. D. Luce's theory of choice behavior fit the data for 1st responses to each stimulus reasonably well, indicating that free association data exhibit the constancy predicted by Luce's constant-ratio rule, and that no specific unlearning occurred. Retroactive and proactive inhibition were predicted and observed, although response latency data provided no evidence for active competition among the responses. The model failed to predict the continued association data. These results are interpreted in an information-processing framework for interference theory. (16 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-503
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number3 PART 1
StatePublished - Mar 1969
Externally publishedYes


  • information processing analysis &
  • interference theory of forgetting, free association task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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