Auditioning the distinctiveness account: Expanding the production effect to the auditory modality reveals the superiority of writing over vocalising

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Abstract

The production effect (PE) documents the advantage in memory performance for words that are read aloud during study, rather than words that are read silently. Until now, the PE was examined in the visual modality, as the participants read the study words. In the present study, we extended the PE phenomenon and used the auditory modality at study. This novel methodology provides a critical test of the distinctiveness account. Accordingly, the participants heard the study words and learned them by vocal production (saying aloud) or by writing, followed by a free recall test. The use of the auditory modality yielded a memory advantage for words that were written during study over words that were vocally produced. We explain this result in light of the encoding distinctiveness account, suggesting that the PE is determined by the number of different encoding processes involved in learning, emphasising the essential role of active production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-113
Number of pages16
JournalMemory
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Distinctiveness
  • Learning modality
  • Memory
  • Production effect
  • Vocalisation

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