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Hasher, L., Reibman, B., & Wren, F. (1976). Imagery and the retention of free-recall learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 2, 172-181.


Three studies investigated the effects of imagery on long-term retention in a free-recall task. In the first experiment, the retention of lists of pictures versus lists of words learned under either imagery, verbal, or standard free-recall learning instructions were compared. In the second, the retention of concrete nouns learned under one of three types of imagery or standard free-recall learning instruction was compared. In the final experiment, the retention of lists of concrete versus abstract nouns was compared. While imagery facilitated learning in several of these situations, in no instance did it result in superior long-term retention. These results seem not to support either a dual-codes model of the operation of imagery in memory or a redintegration model.

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