Brewer, D. D.
(1995). Patterns in the recall of persons in a department of a formal
organization. Journal of Quantitative Anthropology, 5, 255-284.
describes the cognitive structures people use to organize persons in
memory. Employees of a department in the public affairs division
of a university free listed the names of coworkers. Perceived
work proximity was the primary and general associative factor in
subjects' recalls of fellow employees. That is, persons who were
recalled successively were perceived to work more closely with one
would be expected by chance. The temporal features of subjects'
recalls also reflected the influence of perceived work proximity as an
associative factor. In addition, perceived work proximity
associative patterning in the recalls of a subset of subjects who were
at retest, to recall persons in alphabetical order of persons' first
names. Serial order response patterns (which persons tended to be
recalled earlier or later in recall) were related to persons' status
and perceived work proximity to the subject. These results, along
with two recent studies (Brewer 1993; Brewer and Yang 1994), strongly
suggest that members of a community share a common cognitive structure
of community members that is based on the community's social structure.
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