Inferring relationships using episodic and semantic information

Date

1985

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Abstract

Adults' abilities to derive inferences requiring the integration of primarily episodic versus primarily semantic information were investigated. Eighty undergraduates viewed 1 of 4 edited versions of an animated television program that varied in terms of completeness of plot (complete vs. partial) and continuity of presentation (holistic vs. separated). Continuity of presentation had no effect on subjects' abilities to answer recall questions assessing episodic inferencing, semantic inferencing, and verbatim memory. Subjects in complete plot conditions performed better than subjects in partial plot conditions on all 3 question types. Subjects who viewed the complete plot versions showed no performance differences on the 3 types of questions. Hower, subjects who viewed the partial plot versions answered more episodic than semantic inference questions correctly. Also, their performance on the verbatim memory questions was better than on the inference questions. Results are discussed in terms of Tulving's (1983) hypothesis regarding inferential reasoning and episodic and semantic memory.

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Keywords

Memory, Recollection (Psychology), Inference

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