The recovery of incidentally acquired information

Asher Koriat, Nili Feuerstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The psychoanalytically derived hypothesis that marginal registrations are best recovered indirectly, under conditions minimizing the active-selective intention to remember, was examined using associative priming as an index of indirect recovery. A list of words was presented under intentional or incidental-and-distraction conditions and its memory was tested under free recall, recognition or priming conditions. About ten times as many words were recalled and five times as many recognized in the intentional than in the incedental condition. Although significant, the extent of the priming effect did not differ under the two conditions. The results are discussed in terms of Craik and Lockhart's levels of processing approach and Posner's distinction between conscious and automatic activation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-474
Number of pages12
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1976
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
* This study was supported by grants from the Human Development Center and the Faculty of Social Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We wish to thank Karen Pardo for her assistance in preparing the manuscript. Requests for reprints should be addressed to Asher Koriat, Department of Psychology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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