Naming and remembering atypically colored objects:
 support for the processing time account for a secondary distinctiveness effect

Hans WesterbeekTilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
Marije van AmelsvoortTilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
Alfons MaesTilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
Marc SwertsTilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Abstract

The secondary distinctiveness effect is the effect that stimuli that are unusual or different from stored knowledge are remembered better than common stimuli. We investigate the processing time explanation for this effect, i.e., that distinctive stimuli receive more attention and thus more processing time during encoding, by combining methodology from object recognition with memory tasks. Participants in our experiment name common and distinctive items (typically and atypically colored objects), and then memory is tested. Our results replicate the secondary distinctiveness effect, as recognition scores are higher for atypically colored objects than for typical ones. Crucially, analyses of response times in the naming task show that atypically colored objects are processed significantly slower than typical ones. We take these findings as providing support for the processing time hypothesis for the secondary distinctiveness effect.

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Naming and remembering atypically colored objects:
 support for the processing time account for a secondary distinctiveness effect (10.0 MB)



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