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Distinctiveness and Memory$
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R. Reed Hunt and James B. Worthen

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195169669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169669.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 31 October 2020

Resolution of Discrepant Memory Strengths: An Explanation of the Effects of Bizarreness on Memory

Resolution of Discrepant Memory Strengths: An Explanation of the Effects of Bizarreness on Memory

Chapter:
(p.132) (p.133) 7 Resolution of Discrepant Memory Strengths: An Explanation of the Effects of Bizarreness on Memory
Source:
Distinctiveness and Memory
Author(s):

James B. Worthen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169669.003.0007

Research investigating the relationship between bizarreness and memory began as an attempt to determine the effectiveness of bizarre mental imagery as a mnemonic device. Although some researchers still investigate the mnemonic effectiveness of bizarre imagery, a new wave of research has begun to address the topic of bizarreness more generally. This chapter explores the major theoretical accounts that explain the basic findings related to the influence of bizarreness on memory. The limitations of existing explanations are discussed and a comprehensive explanation of both the facilitative effects and disruptive effects of bizarreness is offered. Throughout this chapter, the term “bizarreness” is used to refer to an extreme form of distinctiveness whereby the stimulus is in the proportional minority relative to all previously stored knowledge. It argues that, as an extreme form of distinctiveness, bizarreness induces an exaggerated form of item-specific processing at the expense of intraitem-relational processing.

Keywords:   bizarreness, memory, distinctiveness, facilitative effects, disruptive effects, item-specific processing, intraitem-relational processing, mnemonic

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