Two faces of the conceptual peg hypothesis

Richard C. Anderson, Ernest T. Goetz, James W. Pichert, Henry M. Halff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Investigated why it is that the more concrete the subject noun phrase of a sentence, the more likely the predicate is to be recalled when the subject noun phrase is the cue. Ss were 77 undergraduates. Findings show that concreteness dramatically influenced both the probability of recognition of the subject noun phrase and the probability of recall of the predicate, given recognition. These results are taken to mean that a concrete phrase makes a good conceptual peg because it is likely to be given a specific, stable encoding and because it tends to reintegrate the whole sentence. Regression analysis showed that the concreteness effect could not be attributed to an influence on comprehensibility. A model of sentence memory is offered which can account for the results. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-149
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1977


  • concreteness of subject noun phrase, probability of recognition &
  • recall of predicate following subject phrase recognition, college students, discussion of conceptual peg hypothesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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