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Br J Psychol. 2006 May;97(Pt 2):269-80.

The distinctiveness effect in forenames: the role of subjective experiences and recognition memory.

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School of Psychology, University of Keele, UK.


We describe two experiments that tested the prediction that distinctive forenames would be better recognized than typical forenames and which investigated whether this distinctiveness effect, if obtained, occurred in subjective experiences of the recollective or familiarity components of recognition memory. To that end, the remember-know paradigm was used to measure people's experiences of recollection or familiarity. The results revealed that distinctive forenames were more memorable than typical forenames and that that this distinctiveness effect was present only in the subjective experience of remembering. Additionally, the present research showed that these distinctiveness effects were present after retention intervals of both 1 and 7 days. These results replicate and extend past research on distinctiveness effects and also provide support for Rajaram's (1996) distinctiveness-fluency account of the 2 states of subjective awareness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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