Research Repository

Retrieval failures for the names of familiar people

Hanley, JR (2013) 'Retrieval failures for the names of familiar people.' In: UNSPECIFIED, (ed.) Tip-of-the-Tongue States and Related Phenomena. UNSPECIFIED, 50 - 74. ISBN 9781107035225

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Retrieval failures that occur during attempts to recall the names of familiar people have been the subject of intense scrutiny in the 40 years that have elapsed since the publication of Yarmey's original investigation in 1973. Whereas Brown and McNeill (1966) had used definitions of words of relatively low frequency to elicit tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) states, Yarmey attempted to generate TOTs for familiar names by presenting participants with photographs of 50 famous people. As with Brown and McNeill, Yarmey's study provided a detailed record of the structural information about an elusive name that was available to participants when they experienced a TOT. Moreover, the use of photographs allowed Yarmey to investigate the biographical or “semantic” information about a person that participants could recall during a TOT, which cannot be assessed when using standard semantic cues such as definitions (Brown & McNeill, 1966). What Can Be Recalled during a TOT State for a Person's Name? When experiencing a positive TOT state (defined as either subsequent TOT resolution or recognition of the correct name when it was read out), Yarmey's (1973) participants could provide accurate estimates about the number of syllables that were in a person's name; 73 percent of estimates were correct for first names, and 79 percent were correct for last names. Even more impressive, 68 percent of estimates concerning the identity of the initial letter of the first name were correct, and 59 percent of estimates of the initial letter of the last name were correct. Yarmey suggested that performance was likely to have been well above chance, particularly in the letter condition.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Users 161 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2014 11:18
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 23:15

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