The subjective organization of input and output events in memory

Asher Koriat, Shiri Pearlman-Avnion, Hasida Ben-Zur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to study the organization of memory for self-performed actions, 80 participants were presented with 20 action phrases for ten consecutive study-test cycles. Enactment was manipulated both in the input phase and in the output phase by having participants say or enact the phrases during encoding and/or during testing. Enactment at input or output generally enhanced both the quantity and the accuracy of recall and also improved output monitoring. More important, subjective organization, as indexed by the tendency to recall the same two phrases successively across repeated recall tests, was significant for all conditions, even on the first pair of trials, and increased systematically with repeated study-test cycles. Enactment neither impaired nor enhanced the amount of organization, and in all conditions a positive correlation was obtained between recall and subjective organization. Some commonalities in the nature of memory organization were found across all conditions. The results suggest that enactment may lead to more differentiated memory traces, resulting in more accurate recall. Although subjective organization was clearly observed when enactment was involved, its contribution to the enhancement of recall deserves further examination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-307
Number of pages13
JournalPsychological Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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