Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Value bias of verbal memory

Caplan, Jeremy B.; Tomlinson, Sara E.; Chakravarty, Sucheta; Fujiwara, Esther; Madan, Christopher; Ober, Isha

Value bias of verbal memory Thumbnail


Jeremy B. Caplan

Sara E. Tomlinson

Sucheta Chakravarty

Esther Fujiwara

Isha Ober


© 2019 Elsevier Inc. A common finding is that items associated with higher reward value are subsequently remembered better than items associated with lower value. A confounding factor is that when a higher value stimuli is presented, this typically signals to participants that it is now a particularly important time to engage in the task. When this was controlled, Madan, Fujiwara, Gerson, and Caplan (2012) still found a large value-bias of memory. Their value-learning procedure, however, explicitly pitted high- against low-value words. Our novel value-learning procedure trained words one at a time, avoiding direct competition between words, but with no difference in words signalling participants to engage in the task. Results converged on null effects of value on subsequent free recall accuracy. Re-analyses attributed Madan et al.’s value-bias to competition between choice items that were paired during learning. Value may not bias memory if it does not signal task importance or induce inter-item competition.


Caplan, J. B., Tomlinson, S. E., Chakravarty, S., Fujiwara, E., Madan, C., & Ober, I. (2019). Value bias of verbal memory. Journal of Memory and Language, 107, 25-39.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 7, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 4, 2019
Publication Date 2019-08
Deposit Date Mar 9, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 5, 2020
Journal Journal of Memory and Language
Print ISSN 0749-596X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 107
Pages 25-39
Keywords Linguistics and Language; Experimental and Cognitive Psychology; Artificial Intelligence; Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology; Language and Linguistics
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Value bias of verbal memory; Journal Title: Journal of Memory and Language; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


You might also like

Downloadable Citations