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Alba, J., Alexander, S., Hasher, L., & Caniglia, K. (1981). The role of context in the encoding of information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 7, 283-292.


The importance of a context-inducing title for the acquisition of information from prose was investigated by manipulating the degree to which subjects were able to use their existing knowledge. Subjects read passages take from Bransford and Johnson's materials either with or without the context-inducing title provided. The presence of the title increased comprehension and recall (Experiment 1) but had no effect on recognition (Experiments 2 and 3). Activation of relevant information already stored in memory may not be essential to the encoding process.

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