Encoding processes and the recall of text

Neff Walker, J. Patrick Jones, Harvey H. Mar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two experiments investigated the proposition that the amount of cognitive effort expended to encode information will be directly related to recall of that information. While previous research has shown that amount of processing may affect recall, these studies have generally drawn on the notion of an elaborated memory representation to explain their results. In this study, the amount of processing required to correctly interpret anaphoric relations was varied while the elaboration of the memory trace was held constant. These experiments employed a self-paced reading paradigm in which subjects read a series of short paragraphs and later were cued to recall the final sentence of each paragraph. It was found that recall was significantly improved when more processing was required to correctly interpret the anaphoric relationship expressed in the final sentence. These findings suggest that encoding processes can affect recall performance without elaboration of the memory representation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-282
Number of pages8
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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