Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Zemla, Jeff

Second Advisor

Schooler, Lael


contiguity effects., episodic memory, repetition effects, semantic fluency, semantic memory

Subject Categories



While semantic organization has been widely observed in episodic memory tasks, episodic organization has yet to be observed in the semantic fluency task, due to structural differences between test paradigms. Episodic memory effects require an opportunity for target information to first be learned and later retrieved. Semantic fluency tasks, which are designed to measure retrieval capacity for facts, are typically limited to a single test-phase format. In semantic fluency tasks, participants are presented with a semantic retrieval cues (i.e. category prompts) and asked to list as many items as they can think of that fit the classification. The repeated fluency paradigm, a variant of semantic fluency, presents category prompts to participants multiple times throughout the experiment, which provides participants with a sufficient opportunity to repeat words and reference temporal features (e.g. serial order that words were listed) across different trials of the same category. This study used the repeated fluency task to evaluate whether repetition, contiguity, and temporal interval effects would be present during semantic retrieval. Conventional episodic comparisons for these effects were contrasted to measurements of word-typicality and semantic similarity to ensure that any observed effects could not be entirely accounted for by common semantic explanations. Results from this experiment found significant evidence that repetition and contiguity effects were present in the data. Further, neither of these effects could be accounted for by word-typicality or semantic similarity. Although the temporal interval analysis showed no significant differences in the overall magnitude of repetition effects, one of two contiguity comparisons found significant differences across temporal intervals. Taken together, these results suggest that the delineation between episodic and semantic retrievals becomes less defined when a semantic retrieval cue is presented more than once.


Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons



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