Set-size effects in primary memory: An age-related capacity limitation?

Halford G.S., Maybery M.T. and Bain J.D. (1988) Set-size effects in primary memory: An age-related capacity limitation?. Memory & Cognition, 16 5: 480-487. doi:10.3758/BF03214229

Author Halford G.S.
Maybery M.T.
Bain J.D.
Title Set-size effects in primary memory: An age-related capacity limitation?
Journal name Memory & Cognition   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0090-502X
Publication date 1988-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3758/BF03214229
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 16
Issue 5
Start page 480
End page 487
Total pages 8
Subject 3206 Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
1201 Architecture
3200 Psychology
Abstract Set size was varied as a factor in the primary memory paradigm developed by Wickens and colleagues (Wickens, Moody, & Dow, 1981; Wickens, Moody, & Vidulich, 1985). In Experiment 1, using adults and teenagers, no proactive interference (PI) was observed at set size 4, consistent with previous research, but PI was observed at set size 10. In Experiment 2, with adults, PI was observed at set sizes 6, 8, and 10, but not at set size 4. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that sets of more than 4 items overload primary memory, so that some items have to be retrieved from secondary memory. In Experiment 3, 8- to 9-year-olds were used with set sizes of 2 and 4. Proactive interference was observed with the larger, but not with the smaller, set. This suggests that primary memory was overloaded by 4 items at this age, indicating that its capacity increases with age.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import - Archived
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 47 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 51 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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