bizarre - Perceptual and Motor Skills, 2002, 94, 533-540....

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Unformatted text preview: Perceptual and Motor Skills, 2002, 94, 533-540. © Perceptual and Motor Skills 2002 THE BIZARRENESS EFFECT AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN IMAGING ABILITYl HEOSHI TOYOTA Nam University of Education Summary—The bizarreness effect refers to the superior performance in recall of bizarre sentences as compared to common sentences. The subjects studied each target word and in Exp. 1 rated its congruity with its sentence frame. In Exp. 2 they rated the vividness of the image for each sentence frame in which it was included. Four types of sentence frames were provided: bizarre image sentences, bizarre nonimage sentences, common image sentences, and common nonimage sentences. Good imagers and poor imagers were assessed on the Questionnaire Upon Mental Imagery. Both ex- periments showed that good irnagers recalled target words in bizarre image sentences better than target words in common image sentences. A difference between the two sentence types was not observed for poor imagers. The differences between bizarre nonimage sentences and common nonimage sentences were not found for both type of imagers. The results were interpreted as showing that a difference in Imaging abil- ity was critical for the occurrence of a bizarreness effect. The so-called bizarreness effect refers to the better performance in recall of bizarre sentences than of common sentences (Wollen & Cox, 1981a, 1981b; Cornoldi, Cavedon, de Beni, 8L Pra Baldi, 1988; Imai 8L Richman, 1991; McDaniel. Einstein, DeLosh, May, 85 Brady, 1995). Many studies have been designed to mvestigate the factors that determine the occurrence of this effect. The first critical factor in producing the effect is the manipulation of the bizarreness as a between-subject variable (unmixed-list) or within-subject variable (mixed~list). The effect has occurred when bizarreness was manipu- lated as a within-subject variable (Merry, 1980; Wollen & Cox, 1981b; Mc- Daniel & Einstein, 1986; Imai 8t Richman, 1991; McDaniel, et al., 1995), but not when bizarreness was manipulated as a between-subject variable (Wol- len, Weber, 8t Lowry, 1972; Cox 81 Wollen, 1981). The second factor is the type of memory test used; for instance, the effect was observed in free recall but not in cued recall or on recognition tests (Wollen 8: Cox, 1981a, 1981b; McDaniel & Einstein, 1986; Toyota, 1987). The third factor is the type of en— coding task. The bizarreness effect was found when the subjects were given an instruction to make a mental image of the referents in bizarre or common sentences but was not present when these instructions were not given (Mc- Daniel 8: Einstein, 1986). The fourth factor involves the types of bizarre sentence. Cornoldi, et al. (1988) distinguished between unusual sentences, lSend requests for reprints to Hiroshi Toyota, Department of Psychology, Nara University of Education, Takabatake-cho, Nara 630-8528, Japan or e-mail ([email protected]). 534 H. TOYOTA e.g., a waiter serving a tie, which were strange but possible, and truly bizarre sentences, e.g., a waiter driving a tie, which were strange and impossible. They indicated that unusual sentences reduced the promotion of bizarreness. Toyota (1987) distinguished between the dimension of bizarreness (bizarre vs common) and the dimension of image (image vs nonimage). Four types of sentence were provided: bizarre image sentences, e.g., Baby drinks beer, bi- zarre nonimage sentences, e.g., Baby is old, common image sentence, e.g., Baby drinks milk, and common nonimage sentences, e.g., Baby is young. In Exp. 1, the subjects rated the congruity of each target to its sentence frame. In Exp. 2 they rated the vividness of the image for each sentence frame which included it. In spite of different type of orienting task (congruity vs vividness), both experiments showed that bizarre image sentences led to a better free recall than the common image sentences, but differences were not observed between bizarre nonimage sentences and common nonimage sen- tences. Furthermore, a noteworthy result was that, although the subjects in Exp. 1 were not given an instruction to make a mental image of the refer- ents, the bizarreness effect was found in image sentences. These results were interpreted as showing that the occurrence of the bizarreness effect was me- diated by whether an image in each bizarre sentence was aroused or not. It is inferred that the more vividly an image in a bizarre sentence is aroused, the larger is the magnitude of the bizarreness effect. And, it is expected that the vividness of image could be determined by individual differences in imag- ing ability. Robinson-Riegler and McDaniel (1994) examined the relationship be- tween the individual differences in imaging ability and the bizarreness effect. The difference in magnitude of the bizarreness effects was not found be- tween subjects with a high imaging ability (good imagers) and those with a lower ability (poor imagers). However, they showed the absence of bizarre- ness effect in complex sentences revised from an original sentence set by Kroll, Schepeler, and Angin (1986), e.g., The smoking freight TRAIN punches a field of jumbo red STRAWBERRIES. Although the interaction of imaging ability and type of sentence (bizarre vs common) did not reach sta- tistical significance, good imagers recalled targets in bizarre sentences more often than poor imagers in the original sentence set (Kroll, et al, 1986), e.g., The new sleek TRAIN is derailed by the fresh juicy STRAWBERRIES. This result suggested the possibility that whether the interaction of imaging ability and type of sentence was found or not depended on the type of sentence set. As mentioned above, some studies have shown that a small facilitation of the bizarreness effect was sometimes observed when the tar- gets were embedded in complex sentences (McDaniel & Einstein, 1989; Mc- Daniel, et (21., 1995). Robinson-Riegler and McDaniel (1994) suggested that benefits of bizarreness of sentences as compared to common sentences were IMAGING: BIZARRENESS, INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 535 eliminated because the cues associated with complexity of the sentence pro- vided more effective retrieval cues than did those associated with bizarreness of sentences. If this is so, it would be appropriate to use the simple sen- tences rather than the complex ones as materials in examining the relation- ship between imaging ability and bizarreness effect. Therefore, the present study used simple sentences as materials. And, the sentences used in Robin- son-Riegler and McDaniel (1994) contained two targets. As two targets in a sentence increased its complexity, the present study used sentences which contained a target. More importantly was that in a previous study Robinson-Riegler and McDaniel (1994) did not distinguish the type of image, namely, image sen- tences (bizarre image sentence and common image sentence) and nonimage sentences (bizarre nonimage sentence and common nonimage sentence) (Toy- ota, 1987). As Toyota (1987) suggested, that a bizarre image was aroused in each sentence may be critical to the occurrence of a bizarreness effect, so it could be predicted that the bizarreness effect would be found in imaging sentences, whereas the effect would not be apparent in nonimage sentences. It was expected that good itnagers could produce the image in a bizarre-im— age sentence more vividly than poor itnagers, whereas in bizarre nonitnage sentences the difference in vividness of image between the two types of itnagers would not be found. The purpose of the present study was to clarify the relationship be- tween the individual differences in imaging ability and the occurrence of a bizarreness effect when targets were embedded in the simple sentences. It could be predicted that targets in bizarre image sentences would be recalled more often than those in common image sentences by good itnagers, but the difference would not be found for poor imagers. In addition, a difference in recall performance for bizarre nonimage sentences and common nonimage sentences would not be observed for either category of imagers. As mentioned above, the type of encoding task was critical for the oc- currence of the bizarreness effect. The present Exp. 1 used a task which in— volved rating the congruity of each target and its sentence frame. Exp. 2 in- volved rating the vividness of an image to each target and its sentence frame. EXPERIMENT 1 The purpose of Exp. 1 was to examine the prediction mentioned above and used a procedure of rating the congruity of each target and its sentence frame. Met/30d Design and subjects.—A 2 X 2 X 2 mixed design was used where the first factor was the image ability of the subjects (good itnagers vs poor imag~ ers). The second (within-subjects) factor was the type of sentence (bizarre vs 536 H. TOYOTA common) and the third (within-subjects) factor was the type of image (image vs nonimage). The subjects were 34 undergraduate women at Izumi Wom- en’s College; their mean age was 19.9 yr. (range, 18.9 yr. to 20.1 yr.). Materz'als.—The 30 words which were to be remembered (target words) and their sentence frames were selected from a previous publication (Toyota, 1987). These targets and their sentence frames were written in Japanese Hi- ragana characters familiar to the subjects. Examples of the four types of sentence frame for a target, e.g., Baby, are as follows: “ drinks beer” for a bizarre image sentence; “ is old” for a bizarre nonimage sen- tence; “ drinks milk” for a common image sentence; and “ is young” for a common nonimage sentence. Four types of lists were provided for the study phase. Each list had seven of each of the four sentence types (bizarre image, bizarre nonimage, common image, and common nonimage) and four buffers. Two of the buffers were at the beginning and two were at the end of the list. These buffers were intended to minimize the primacy and recency effects in the free recall test. They were not included in the data analysis. Four different orders were constructed for each list and counterbal- anced. All of the sentences in the lists were presented in a booklet with the following information on separate pages: a target, its sentence frame, and a 5-point rating scale for the congruity of the target to sentence frame. An ex- ample is shown in Fig. 1. Baby Baby drinks beer. drinks milk. 12345 2345 ._ —. lncongruous Congruous Dull Image Vivid Image FIG. 1. An example of a page in the booklet used in the present study: Exp. 1 on the left and Exp. 2 on the right. Procedura—The experiment was conducted in three phases. (a) In the Study phase each subject received a booklet with the following instructions: “A word and a sentence are shown on each page of a booklet. Your task is to study each word presented in the upper part of each page and to rate its congruity to the sentence frame presented in the lower part of each page on the scale which is anchored by 1 to indicate the lowest rating.” Each subject studied each target and performed the rating task. A period of 10 sec. was IMAGING: BIZARRENESS, INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 537 permitted for each page. (b) In the Free recall test phase the subjects were required to recall and write down as many as possible of the words (targets) presented in the upper part of each page. Three minutes were allowed for this free recall and writing. (c) The Questionnaire on image ability phase was used to assess the imaging ability of the subjects. The study used five items from the Japanese version of a shortened form of Betts’ Quesrionnaire Upon Mental Imagery (Sheehan, 1967), and were translated and developed by Tanabe and Hibino (1986). The referents of these five items were easier to understand for Japanese subjects than the Individual Difference Ques- tionnaire on Verbal and Imaginal Ability (Paivio & Harshman, 1983) used by Robinson-Riegler and McDaniel (1994). All subjects were given a sheet that included these five items. The subjects were asked to rate within 10 sec. how vividly they perceived each referent of each item using a 7-point scale of vividness, with the anchor of 1 indicating the highest rating. Results To select the Good and Poor imagers, rating scores for the five items were summed to produce one visual imagery score for each subject. The Vi- sual imagery scores of the subjects were then ranked, and the subjects with the 10 lowest scores (M=9.3, SD: 1.7) were assigned to the Good imagers group. Similarly, the subjects with the 11 highest scores (M=17.6, SD=2.1) were assigned to the Poor imagers group. TABLE 1 MEAN PROPORTIONS 0F TARGET WORDS CORRECTLY RECALLED IN FREE RECALL Test IN Exes. 1 AND 2 BY TYPE OF IMAGE AND TYPE or SENTENCE Imaging Ability Image Nommagc Bizarre Common Bizarre Common M SD M SD M SD M SD Exp. 1 Good Imagch .48 .17 .30 .17 .22 .16 .33 .16 Poor Imagers .24 .19 .33 .15 .29 .15 .35 .19 Exp. 2 Good Imagers .42 .17 .27 .21 .20 .18 .29 .18 Poor Imagers .15 .14 .32 .19 .24 .11 .30 .16 The mean proportion of the target words recalled in the free recall test is shown in Table 1 as a function of the ability to produce a visual image (Good and Poor), the type of sentence (bizarre and common), and the type of image (image and nonimage). A 2 (ability) X 2 (type of sentence) X 2 (type of image) analysis of variance using the inverse sine transformation scores gave a triple interaction among these three variables (Fl_,9=6.38, p< .05). The simple interaction between imaging ability (Good vs Poor) and type of sentence (bizarre vs common) was significant for the image sentence (F,.,s=8.40, p<.01) but not for the nonimage sentence (1:05:49). Planned 5 3 8 H. TOYOTA comparisons were performed for this simple interaction in image sentences for the Good and Poor imagers, respectively. The Good imagers recalled targets in bizarre image sentences more often than targets in common image sentences (F,_,8=6.17, p<.()5); however, a difference in the recall of targets in the two sentence types was not observed for Poor imagers (F,_,8=2.61). The main effects of imaging ability (F._,9=.36), type of image (Fug: .80), and type of sentence (1:08:63) were not significant. The interactions of imaging ability with the Type of Image (F,J3=2.05), with the Type of Sen- tence (Fll,a=2.45), and the interaction of the Type of Image with the Type of Sentence (F,.,8=2.70), were also nonsignificant. EXPERIMENT 2 The purpose of Exp. 2 was to examine the prediction mentioned above that the rating of vividness of image of each target was related to its sen- tence frame. The experiment involved a task of rating the vividness of the image to each target and its sentence frame. Met/Jud Derz'gn and rubjectt.—The experiment used the same design as that in Exp. 1 and 38 undergraduate women from the same source participated. Their mean age was 19.9 yr. (range, 18.5 yr. to 21.2 yr.). Material: and procedure.—The materials and procedure were similar with those used in Exp. 1, except that a 5-point rating scale was used for the vividness of image to each target and its sentence frame. An example of a page used in Exp. 2 is shown in Fig. 1 on the right. A visual imagery score for each subject was obtained in a similar man- ner to that used in Exp. 1. On the basis of the visual imagery scores the 11 subjects who scored the lowest (M=9.1, SD=1.7) and the 11 who scored the highest (M2182, SD=3.0) were assigned to the groups of Good and Poor irnagers, respectively. Result: The mean proportion of the target words correctly recalled in the free recall test is shown in Table 1 above as a function of the imaging ability, the type of sentence, and the type of sentence image. A 2 (ability) x 2 (type of sentence) X 2 (type of image) analysis of variance using the inverse sine transformation scores gave a triple interaction among these three variables (13,156.77, p<.05). A simple interaction between imaging ability (Good vs Poor) and type of sentence (bizarre vs common) was significant for image sentences (Fl‘40=9.95, p<.01) but not for nonirnage sentences (F,V,O=.07). Planned comparisons were performed for this simple interaction in image sentences for Good and Poor irnagers, respectively. The Good irnagers more often recalled the targets in bizarre image sentences than those in common IMAGING: BIZARRENESS, INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 539 image sentences (F,I,o=4.71, p < .05). In contrast, the targets in the latter sen- tences were recalled more often than those in the former sentences by Poor imagers (F,.,0=5.25, p<.05). The main effects of the imaging ability (Flv20=.43), the type of image (F,‘,0=.22), and the type of sentence (13,402.93) were not significant. The in- teractions of Imaging Ability with the Type of Image (F,',,,,=4.11), with Type of Sentence (F,',,O=3.67), and the interaction of Type of Image with Type of Sentence (FW: .98), were also nonsignificant. DISCUSSION The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between in- dividual differences in image ability and the occurrence of a bizarreness ef- fect when targets were embedded in simple sentences. The present predic- tions were that good imagers would recall targets in bizarre itnage sentences more often than those in common image sentences and that a difference would not be found in the recall of the poor imagers. In addition it was pre— dicted that there would be no difference in the recall performance of either group for targets in bizarre nonimage sentences and common nonitnage sen- tences. The results of Exps. 1 and 2 were consistent with this prediction. Robinson-Riegler and McDaniel (1994), when using complex sentences, found no relationship between individual differences in image ability and the bizarreness effect. However, the present Study, by using simple sentences, indicates the importance of the relationship between the two factors. As men- tioned above, several factors determine the occurrence of a bizarreness ef— fect. These factors include manipulation of the bizarreness (Cox & Wollen, 1981; McDaniel & Einstein, 1986; Imai & Richman, 1991), the type of mem- ory test (Wollen 81 Cox, 1981a, 1981b; McDaniel & Einstein, 1986; Toyota, 1987), the type of encoding task (McDaniel 8t Einstein, 1986), and the type of sentences (Toyota, 1987; Cornoldi, et a[., 1988). The present study has in- dicated that the ability to produce an image also determines the occurrence of a bizarreness effect. In further research, the imaging ability of each sub- ject must, therefore, be taken into account. Finally, although the results of Exps. 1 and 2 were Similar, the perfor- mance of poor imagers was different in the two experiments. Specifically, in Exp. 1 the recall of targets in bizarre image sentences and targets in com- mon image sentences by poor imagers was not Significantly different. In ad- dition, in Exp. 2, the recall of targets by poor imagers was better for com— mon image sentences than for bizarre itnage sentences. Because Exp. 2 used a task of rating vividness, the subjects had to imagine a visual image of each sentence. Consequently, poor itnagers appear to have difficulty in producing an image of a bizarre image sentence. This encoding difficulty could lead to a lower recall performance of bizarre-image sentences. 5 40 H. TOYOTA REFERENCES CORNOLDI, C., CAVEDON, A., DE BEN], R., 6(1)“ BALDI, A. (1988) The influence of the nature of material and of mental operation on the occurrence of bizarreness effect. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 40A, 73-85. Cox, S. D.. &WOLLEN. K. A. (1981) Bizarreness and recall. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 18, 244-245. lMM, 5., &RICHMAN, C. L. (1991) Is the bizarreness effect a special case of sentence reorgani- zation? Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 29, 429-432. KROLL, N., SCHEPELER, E. M., &ANGIN, K. T. (1986) Bizarre imagery: the misremembered mne- monic. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 12, 42-54. MCDANIEL. M. A., &EJNSTEIN, G. O. (1986) Bizarre imager as an effective memory aid: the importance of distinctiveness. Journal of Experimental sychology: Learning, Memory, ana’ Cognition, 12, 54-65. MCDANIEL. M A., &E1N5TEN. G. O. (1989) Sentence complexity eliminates the mnemonic ad- vantage of bizarre imagery. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 27, 117-120. MCDANIEL. M A., EINSTEIN. G O., DELOSH, E. D., MAY, C. P., &BRADY, P. (1995) The bizarre- ness effect: it's not surprising, it’s complex. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21, 422-435. MERRY, R. (1980) Image bizarreness in incidental learning. Psychological Reports, 46, 427-430. Pluvxo, A., 6LHAR$HMAN, R. (1983) Factor analysis of a questionnaire on imagery and verbal habits and skills. Canadian Journal ofPsychology, 37, 461-483. ROBINSON-RJEGLER, B., ELMCDANIEL, M. A. (1994) Further constraints on the bizarreness ef- fect: elaboration at encoding. Memory & Cognition, 22, 702-712. SHEEHAN, P. W. (1967) A shortened form of Betts’ Questionnaire Upon Mental Imagery. Jour- nal of Clinical Psychology, 23, 386-389. TANABE, T.. 61 HIBINO, E. (1986) [A Japanese version of BettsY Questionnaire Upon Mental Imagery]. Doshisiya Shinri, 33, 19-40. [in Japanese] TOYOTA, H. (1987) [Developmental study of contextual effects on recognition in children] [The Japanese Journal of Educational Psychology], )1, 49-52. [in Japanese with English ab- stract WOLLEN. K. A., &Cox, 5. D. (1981a) The bizarreness effect in a multitrial intentional learning task. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 18, 296-298. \X/OLLEN, K. A., &Cox, S. D. (1981b) Sentence cueing and the effectiveness of bizarre imagery. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 7, 386-392. WOLLEN, K. A., WEBER, A., (St LOWRY, D. H. (1972) Bizarreness versus interaction of mental im- ages as determinants of learning. Cognitive Psychology, 3, 518-523. Accepted February 15, 2002. ...
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