Sub-Categorical Properties of Stimuli Determine the Category-Order Effect


The category-order effect (COE) is observed when the categorical properties of items within the first half of a given list affect recall performance in a mixed-list serial-recall task. The present study examines whether the advantage is due to other sub-categorical properties (e.g., orthographic similarity and word frequency) rather than an artifact of stimuli used in previous studies (e.g., numbers vs. nouns). Participants were presented with numeric stimuli and nouns from a variety of semantic categories while their orthography and word frequency were systematically manipulated. The results suggest that a large portion of the COE can be attributed to the sub-categorical properties of the items.

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