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Psychology Glossary

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Serial Position Effect



Serial Position Effect:

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This term is a memory-related term and refers to the tendency to recall information that is presented first and last (like in a list) better than information presented in the middle. Sometimes I experience this when I go to the store and don't write a list. My wife tells me the things we need and I try to remember them by rehearsing them (I say the list over and over). This keeps the information in short-term memory longer. But in the time it takes me to get to the store and then with all the distractions of getting items, looking at labels, etc., I tend to remember the items that were first on the list (probably because I rehearsed them so much) and the last items (probably because those were the ones I heard most recently) but always forget the ones in the middle. I guess I should write them down, huh?