chapter  19
40 Pages

Semantic Relatedness Effects on True and False Memories in Episodic Recognition: A Methodological and Empirical Review

In the century since Ebbinghaus’ (1913) experimental studies of humanmemory, we have accumulated considerable knowledge about how numerousvariables affect memory. After a period of relative quiescence following Ebbinghaus’ work, systematic experimental investigations of human learning and memory began to pick up steam again in the early 1940s (e.g., McGeoch, 1942; Melton & von Lackum, 1941). From 1940 through the early 1970s, the dominant paradigm was the paired-associate learning paradigm. This research focused on how people associate different arbitrary verbal responses with the same stimulus or similar stimuli, with emphasis being given to variables that influence the encoding and storage of paired associates into memory and their retention over long intervals. However, in the late 1960s, the pioneering work of Tulving (see Roediger, 2000, for a recent overview) led to a paradigm shift (Kuhn, 1962). The to-beremembered (TBR) materials became lists of words presented one word at a time, and the theoretical focus shifted to (a) how people “organize” word lists for recall (Tulving, 1967, 1968; Tulving & Donaldson, 1972) and (b) how various cues at the time of retrieval influence memory (Tulving & Osler, 1968; Tulving & Pearlstone, 1966).1