Serial Errors in Human Learning: a Test of the McCrary-Hunter Hypothesis

Science  27 Feb 1959:
Vol. 129, Issue 3348, pp. 570-571
DOI: 10.1126/science.129.3348.570


An experiment was conducted on 120 human subjects to test the hypothesis that the probability distribution of serial errors is an invariant property of rote memorization. Contrary to the hypothesis, the relative difficulty function was significantly affected by ability to learn. There was a systematic tendency (p < .05) for fast learners to commit proportionately more errors in the middle of the sequence.