Free Recall and Abstractness of Stimuli

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Science  07 May 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3983, pp. 597-599
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3983.597


The relation of abstractness of stimuli to efficiency of free recall was studied in college and fourth-grade students. Groups were shown a sequence of objects, pictures, and object names and were asked to recall what they had seen. Recall tests were conducted either immediately after presentation of the stimulus-sequence, after 24 hours, or after 1 week. Objects were recalled more frequently than pictures, and pictures more frequently than words. Adults performed better than children, except in the case of objects.