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Hasher, L., Zacks, R. T., Rose, K. C., & Sanft, H. (1987). Truly incidental encoding frequency information. American Journal of Psychology, 100, 69-91.


Four experiments demonstrated that adults can reliably remember frequency off occurrence information about items they have been exposed to under truly incidental memory conditions. Subjects neither knew that the ultimate test task would concern item frequency nor that they had any reason to remember the items. This was accomplished by presenting items under the guise of one of three cover tasks: anagram solving, sentence completion, and picture naming in a Stroop-like task. In addition, one experiment found the subjects who were prewarned for either a nonspecific memory test or a frequency test were no better able to judge frequency than were subjects operating under truly incidental conditions.

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