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Psychol Res. 1992;54(2):103-9.

The generation effect in primed word-fragment completion reexamined.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of UmeĆ„, Sweden.


Two experiments were designed to test a claim made by Gardiner (1988) that there are generation effects in implicit memory as measured by word-fragment completion. Subjects either read words at study or generated the words from fragments. As in previous research, fragments were completed to a greater extent if they were identical at study and test than if they differed. In Experiment 1 it was found that subjects could recognize explicitly the exact form of fragments that had been used for self-generation and distinguish these from other forms of fragments. An analysis of the contingency relations between recognition of fragments and fragment completion showed a high degree of dependence between the two tests. In Experiment 2 it was found that the match of surface features between study and test was a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to produce enhancement of priming. The results are interpreted as supporting the claim that generation does involve a data-driven component in addition to semantic elaboration.

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