Arousal and recall: Effects of noise on two retrieval strategies

Steven Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Tested the notion that arousal affects the retrieval strategy of pigeonholing by decreasing the separation between risky and cautious criteria. 75 undergraduate Ss heard short meaningful stories accompanied by either No, Medium, or High Noise and were asked to recall the characters' names. Common names were better recalled than rare names in each noise condition. A decision theory analysis shows that, in the No-Noise condition, Ss employed a risky criterion for common names and a cautious criterion for rare names. In the noise conditions, however, Ss employed a similar criterion for recall of both common and rare names, but sensitivity increased for common names. Results are interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that arousal affects the accessibility of information for retrieval. A possible mechanism for arousal's action, and the theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)896-898
    Number of pages3
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 1974


    • noise induced arousal, decrease in separation between risky & cautious criteria & retrieval strategy of pigeonholing, college students


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