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Boundaries of Semantic Distraction: Dominance and Lexicality Act at Retrieval

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-04-05, 16:02 authored by John E. Marsh, Nick PerhamNick Perham, Patrik Sörqvist, Dylan M Jones
Three experiments investigated memory for semantic information with the goal of determining boundary conditions for the manifestation of semantic auditory distraction. Irrelevant speech disrupted the free recall of semantic category- exemplars to an equal degree regardless of whether the speech coincided with presentation or test phases of the task (Experiment 1), and this occurred regardless of whether it comprised random words or coherent sentences (Experiment 2). The effects of background speech were greater when the irrelevant speech was semantically related to the to-be-remembered material, but only when the irrelevant words were high in output dominance (Experiment 3). The implications of these findings in relation to the processing of task material and the processing of background speech are discussed


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Memory & Cognition




  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Marsh, J.E., Perham, N., Sörqvist, P. and Jones, D.M., (2014) 'Boundaries of semantic distraction: dominance and lexicality act at retrieval', Memory & Cognition, 42(8), pp.1285-1301

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Nick Perham

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Applied Psychology and Behaviour Change

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  • © The Publisher


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