Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Blick

Second Advisor

Dr. Warren Hopkins

Third Advisor

Dr. Fred Kozub


In order to test the efficacy of levels of processing on memory, recall of unfamiliar adjectives among five encoding groups: a) semantic, b) self-reference specific, c) self-reference general, d) semantic (plural), and e) self-reference specific (plural) was examined. Introductory psychology students at the University of Richmond viewed twenty unfamiliar adjectives and definitions for forty-five seconds each, followed by a five minute distractor task and a seven minute test for recall of the definitions. A second seven minute recall test was administered one week later. There were no significant differences in recall between groups, but a significant effect of time upon recall over retention intervals was indicated, Q. < .01, and simple effects revealed a significant drop in retention for each group between the two retention intervals. It was proposed that the lack of significant differences in recall among encoding groups was the result of such factors as low subject motivation, ambiguity of encoding instructions, informal experimental setting, and inappropriateness of target words. These factors were recommended as points for consideration in future studies.

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