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Psychol Rep. 2006 Apr;98(2):419-26.

Repeated questioning for order of events: disparate effects following logical versus random presentation.

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Department of Psychology, Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL 60045, USA.


In the present study, 72 college-age participants from an introductory psychology course viewed a series of 20 pictures depicting events surrounding a routine activity, i.e., eating at a cafeteria; these pictures were presented either in a logical order. e.g., enter cafeteria, pick up tray, stand in line, and select food, or in a random order. Three successive tests of free reconstruction of order indicated disparate effects of these conditions; random presentation produced significant forgetting of order information across tests, whereas logical presentation produced no change in performance across tests. Whereas randomly presented stimuli produced both reliable intertest recovery (reminiscence) and forgetting, neither result was observed following logical presentation. The implications of these data for eyewitness testimony for general theories of hypermnesia are discussed.

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