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Hasher, L., & Clifton, D. (1974). A developmental study of attribute encoding in free recall. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 17, 332-346.


In two studies, subjects from second-grade, sixth-grade, and college were presented lists of unrelated words for single-trail free recall. Embedded in the list were critical items that were either semantically or phonemically related or else were completely unrelated. The sets of related items were either massed or distributed in the longer list. For second-graders, recall of the Phonemic words was better than recall of the Semantic words while the reverse was true for sixth-graders. Recall of Semantic distributed words by second-graders and of Phonemic distributed words by sixth-graders did not differ from recall of unrelated words. College students recalled Phonemic and Semantic words equally well and all related words better than unrelated words. Developmental trends were seen in the salience of particular attributes and in the utilization of low salient attributes.

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