The Influence of Knowledge and Expectations for Color on Episodic Memory

Kimele PersaudRutgers University
Pernille HemmerRutgers University

Abstract

Expectations learned from our environment are known to exert strong influences on episodic memory. Furthermore, people have prior expectations for universal color labels and their associated hue space—a salient property of the environment. In three experiments, we assessed peoples' color naming preferences, and expectation for color. Using a novel experimental paradigm, we then assessed free recall for color. We found that people’s color naming preferences were consistent with the universal color terms (Berlin & Kay, 1969), as well as a strong subjective agreement on the hue values associated with these color labels. We further found that free recall for color was biased towards the mean hue value for each preferred color. We modeled this relationship between prior expectation and episodic memory with a rational model under the simple assumption that people combine expectations for color with noisy memory representations. This model provided a strong qualitative fit to the data.

Files

The Influence of Knowledge and Expectations for Color on Episodic Memory (775 KB)



Back to Table of Contents