Homophones and synonyms in short-term memory

Walter Kintsch, Herman Buschke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Illustrates differential effects of acoustic and semantic similarity on primary and secondary memory by analysis of short-term retention for sequences of 16 words containing either homophone pairs, synonym pairs, or unrelated words. After presentation of each sequence, 1 of the words in the sequence was given as a probe for S to respond with the word that followed in the sequence. Recall of early words in the lists was used to estimate the secondary memory component of short-term retention. Secondary memory was strongly decreased by semantic similarity. Recall of the most recent words in the lists provided a basis for estimation of primary memory. Primary memory was unaffected by semantic similarity, but was decreased significantly by acoustic similarity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-407
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number3 PART 1
StatePublished - Jun 1969
Externally publishedYes


  • semantic similarity
  • short term memory, acoustic &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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