Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Lynn Lohnas


Episodic Memory;Free Recall;Positional Coding;Retrieved Context;Serial Recall

Subject Categories

Cognitive Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The research in this thesis presents a novel experiment and analyses to characterize effects in episodic memory which have classically been developed using different classes of theories. An encoding design was used which typically offers support for positional coding theory, phonological similarity among words in a studied list, with a recall paradigm which typically offers support for retrieved context theory, free recall. This experiment manipulated recall task, serial recall and free recall, as well as the presence and order of similar items across three possible list types. Analyses focused on differences in recall probability, recall errors, and recall transitions by list type and recall test type. In free recall, recall probabilities and transitions between recalls were consistent with retrieved context theory. In serial recall, recall probabilities replicated past findings consistent with positional coding theory. However, transitions occurring immediately after the first error provided some evidence for both theories. Therefore, while work should continue to unify these theories, these results help to clarify the role of each theory across paradigms.


Open Access



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