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Brewer, D. D., Garrett, S. B., & Rinaldi, G. (2002). Free listed items are effective cues for eliciting additional items in semantic domains. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 16, 343-358.

abstract      pdf of full article

This study tested a cueing procedure for enhancing recall in semantic domains based on associative processes inferred from semantic clustering.  Participants first free listed items exhaustively from a semantic domain (fruits or drugs).  Then, to aid recall of additional items from the domain, participants received either the items they free listed as semantic cues (to trigger semantically similar items) or alphabetic cues (to trigger items beginning with a particular letter).  Participants' strong semantic clustering and weak alphabetic clustering in free listing confirmed previous research on associative processes.  By several measures, free listed items as semantic cues elicited moderately more additional items than alphabetic cues.  Semantic cues elicited an appreciable proportion of items that would not have been identified at the aggregate level through free listing alone.  These results indicate that using free listed items as semantic cues can be a useful adjunct for ethnographic applications of free listing. 

pdf version of article (106 kb)

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