The effects of the elimination of rehearsal on primacy and recency

Philip H. Marshall, Pamela R. Werder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The role of rehearsal in free recall was investigated by varying the amount of rehearsal during learning. An intentional learning condition (INT) and an intentional learning condition with a subsidiary task (INT-T) compared recall under conditions of full and reduced rehearsal, respectively. An incidental learning condition (INC) was also used to examine recall with rehearsal eliminated. Performance under INT-T revealed the usual serial position effect, but overall recall was reduced relative to INT. Performance under INC was described by the presence of recency but the absence of primacy. The results question the necessity of a rehearsal buffer mechanism as an explanation of recency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-653
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1972


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