Does CHARM Need Depth? Similarity and Levels-of-Processing Effects in Cued Recall

Stephan Lewandowsky*, William E. Hockley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Eich (1985) recently presented a distributed memory model in which the pattern of results used to support the levels-of-processing view of Craik and Lockhart (1972) was modeled by different degrees of similarity between the encoding context and the to-be-recalled item. We report two experiments in which both phonemic and semantic similarity were varied between pairs of words and incidental acquisition (rhyme vs. category judgments) was varied across the same pairs of items. In both experiments the manipulation of the acquisition task produced a difference in cued-recall performance for positive and negative rhyme and category judgments. Recall was better following a category encoding decision than following a rhyme decision. This difference was independent of the effects of similarity, which demonstrated that Eich's (1985) assumptions regarding the effects of similarity are not sufficient to account for the differences resulting from the manner in which subjects encode information. An alternative method of modeling the levels-of-processing effect within the framework of distributed memory models is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-455
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1987

Structured keywords

  • Memory


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