Intralist and extralist sources of distinctiveness and the bizarreness effect: The importance of contrast

James B. Worthen, Philip H. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The roles played by intralist and extralist distinctiveness with respect to the recall of bizarre and common sentences was investigated in two experiments. In Experiment 1, a greater percentage of bizarre than common sentences was accessed in predominantly common lists and in lists containing equal numbers of common and bizarre items. Reciprocally, a greater percentage of common than bizarre sentences was accessed in predominantly bizarre lists. In Experiment 2, contrast (i.e., the degree of separation between common and bizarre sentence types) was manipulated. In high-contrast lists, intralist distinctiveness was more powerful than extralist distinctiveness associated with bizarreness. The opposite was true for low-contrast lists. The results support an extension of the distinctiveness hypothesis to include the independent effects of intralist and extralist distinctiveness and suggest related limiting conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-263
Number of pages25
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychology
Volume109
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

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