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The effect of incubation on the resolution of tip-of-the-tongue states and the relation between resolution, incidence and cognitive ability

Masselink, Jop (2012) The effect of incubation on the resolution of tip-of-the-tongue states and the relation between resolution, incidence and cognitive ability.

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Abstract:This study replicated Choi and Smith (2005) by examining the effect of incubation on the resolution of tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) states. Is it better to be persistent in one‟s retrieval efforts of an unrecalled word, or does an incubation period - that is, time away from retrieval attempts - enable resolution more effectively? In addition, the relation between cognitive ability on the one hand and TOT incidence and TOT resolution on the other was examined. Researchers gave participants each of 48 general knowledge questions twice. The retest of each question was either immediately after the initial presentation of the question or after an incubation period. During this incubation period participants were presented with other unrelated questions. Participants could indicate that they either knew the answer, did not know the answer or rate their TOT state, raging from weak to very strong. In order to test for cognitive ability three separate tests were administered: a vocabulary test, a working memory test and a word fluency test. The results replicate the findings of Choi and Smith that when one‟s initially unsuccessful retrieval attempts leads to a TOT state, resolution is more likely when the second retrieval attempt follows after an incubation period rather than immediately. The results were in line with the blocking theory of TOTs. In addition, this study showed that TOTs are more likely to be resolved than non-TOTs and that the stronger the experience of a TOT is the more likely it is to be resolved. No relation was found between cognitive ability and TOT incidence or TOT resolution. Implications for further research are discussed.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61610
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