Investigating the underlying mechanisms of the Enactment Effect: The role of action-object bindings in aiding immediate memory performance

Angeliki Makri*, Christopher Jarrold

*Corresponding author for this work

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

Abstract

Previous research has established that enacted action-object phrases lead to superior immediate memory performance compared to purely verbal memory. In the current investigation, Experiment 1 examined how enactment separately affects immediate memory for actions and objects in 24 adults by presenting action-object phrases and asking participants to recall either the actions or the objects presented in correct serial order. The results showed that when employed at presentation, enactment led to superior recall performance compared to verbal repetition, but this effect was significant only for memory for actions and not objects. Enactment during immediate recall did not lead to better memory performance compared to verbal recall for either actions or objects. In order to examine whether the lack of an enactment at recall was due to the splitting of action-object phrases at retrieval, Experiment 2 (n=24) examined memory for whole action-object phrases under enactment at recall. The results showed a typical enactment at recall benefit. Furthermore, a novel binding analysis suggested that enactment recall increased the likelihood of action features being remembered in a bound pair rather than alone. Together these findings suggest that action-object bindings play a crucial role in the manifestation of the enactment effect in immediate recall, especially when enactment is employed at the recall phase.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Apr 2021

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