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The influence of exposure duration and context length on word recall: A replication of Tulving et al. (1964)

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Doi: 10.20982/tqmp.17.2.r001

Bradley-Garcia, Meenakshie , Doucet, Véronique , Corbeil, Sophie , Pétrin, Rachel , Roy, Natasha-Lyne , DeNicolais, Emma , Boisvert, Valérie , Lanthier, Malika , Limam, Ferial , Thorul, Sahil Kumar , El Machkour, Kenza , Boshart, Kayla , Giovanniello, Olivia , Montpetit, Maxine , Yilmaz, Ece
Keywords: replication , recall , context length , exposure duration , visual memory
(no sample data)   (Appendix)

Tulving and colleagues (1964) pioneered the study of word recognition by investigating the influence of exposure duration and context length on accurate word identification. The present experiment aimed to replicate the original methodology with modern technology and a demographically heterogeneous sample. Male and female participants (n = 58) between 18-69 years with varying levels of education and who identified English or French as their dominant language were randomly assigned to a context length condition containing either 0, 2, 4, or 8 words from specific sentences. Participants were shown 18 target words for 16.67 ms and asked to type the target word after each one was presented. Participants were then instructed to type each target word in a corresponding fragmented sentence which varied in length according to the number of context words presented (0-, 2-, 4-, or 8-word context). The procedure was repeated for 6 subsequent exposure durations (33.33, 50.00, 66.67, 83.33, 100.00, and 116.67 ms). Repeated Measures ANOVA indicated a significant effect of exposure duration and context length on accurate recall (p < .002). These results corroborate those found by Tulving et al. (1964). No significant interaction was observed between these two variables on recall accuracy (p > .05) compared to what was demonstrated by Tulving et al. (1964). This suggests that the robust memory enhancing effects of longer exposure durations during encoding and longer context lengths during retrieval are reliably observed across a diverse participant sample. To improve generalizability, follow-up studies should use a larger participant sample to determine how demographic factors, including age, sex, education, and language, may influence the effects of exposure duration and context length on word recognition in recall tasks.

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