Serial Retrieval Processes in the Recovery of Order Information

Brian McElree, Barbara Anne Dosher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The retrieval of temporal order and item information from short-term memory (STM) are examined with the cued-response speed-accuracy trade-off (CR-SAT) procedure and a complementary reaction time (RT) task. The retrieval of order information was examined with a two-alternative forced-choice (2AFC), relative judgment of recency (JOR) task. Analyses of the pattern of mean RT, RT accuracy, and the overall shape of the RT distribution for correct JORs suggest that order information is retrieved by a serial retrieval mechanism. Analyses of SAT retrieval functions confirm that order information is retrieved by a recency-based, serial retrieval process. These results contrast with previous SAT analyses of STM item recognition (B. McElree & B.A. Dosher, 1989), which indicate that item information is retrieved by a parallel or direct-access mechanism. The dissociation between item and order information retrieval was further documented in a 2AFC item recognition SAT study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-315
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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