The Role of Mental Elaborations in Making Counterintuitive Ideas Memorable

Abstract

Previous work has suggested that concepts that are only slightly counterintuitive are more memorable than concepts that are intuitive or overly counterintuitive (Boyer, 1994; Boyer and Ramble, 2001) even though causes for this memory advantage have been debated (Barrett, 2008; Upal, 2009). This paper presents four studies conducted to better understand the cognitive processes that underlie memory for counterintuitive concepts. They suggest that elaborative processing of counterintuitive concepts may be the primary driver of the MCI effect rather than domain violation.


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