Four experiments were conducted to examine the role that storage and retrieval processes play in the bizarreness effect. The experiments provided a test of Riefer and LaMay's (1992) twolactor hypothesis, which states that bizarre stimuli are retrieved from Meitbry better than common stimuli, but that common stimuli are stored better than bizarre stimuli. The experimental results were also used to test the validity of Riefer and Rouder's (1992) and Rouder and Batchelder's (1999) multinomial models for storage and retrieval. The experiments explored several variables known to impact the bizarreness effect, including mixed vs. unmixed lists, list length, presentation rate, level of association, and sentence complexity. Various hypotheses were developed regarding how these variables affect storage and retrieval processes. The validity of the multinomial models was determined by examining the influence that the variables have on the models' storage and retrieval parameters. In Experiment 1, a bizarreness effect was found for mixed lists, but not for unmixed lists. Experiments 2 and 3 found strong bizarreness effects for short and long lists, fast and slow presentations, and for high and low associates. Experiment 4 found no bizarreness effect when sentences were simple or complex. Results of the experiments provided full support for Riefer and LaMay's two-factor theory. The validity of the Riefer-Rouder and Rouder-Batchelder models was also well · supported. Both models provided plausible and logical explanations for all four studies, although many of the original hypotheses regarding the bizarreness effect were .not supported. Both models also pr,ovided an overall good fit to the data, with the Riefer-Rouder model having a slight advantage over the Rouder-. Batchelder model. The effectiveness of the models allows future researchers to further explore the role that storage and retrieval processes play in the bizarreness effect.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

David M. Riefer

Second Advisor

Hector Betancourt

Third Advisor

Gloria Cowan

Fourth Advisor

Stuart Ellins

Fifth Advisor

Matt Riggs

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Memory; Imagery (Psychology); Recollection (Psychology).



Page Count

x; 133

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

Included in

Psychology Commons