I remember stumbling across a very interesting study/experiment a few months ago. Now I want to try to find it again. Unfortunately I cannot for the life of me recall the name of the experiment nor the names of the experimenters. I was hoping somebody here could help me.

The study went something like this:

Two groups of subjects are shown the same set of images, but with different labels on them. Later they are asked to draw the same images from memory. The results showed that they tended to draw a picture that more closely represented the label that was on it than the original.

I am not sure if this was meant to show perceptual sets, priming, context effects or what have you.

Does anybody know which study this was?


1 Answer 1


Based on your description I was able to find the following:

-Klatzky, R.L. & Rafnel, K. (1976).Labeling effects on memory for nonsense pictures. Memory & Cognition, 4(6), 717-720. (there is a pdf version on researchgate.net, I couldn't upload it here)

-Bower, G.H., Karlin, M.B., & Dueck, A. (1975). Comprehension and memory for pictures. Memory and Cognition, 3(2), 216-220. (pdf here)

However, the design and results of those studies are a bit different from what you describe. Labeling facilitated free recall (reproduction) better than no labeling when someone was presented with droodles (images with no meaning). Also, in the Klatzky and Rafnel study, it was shown that meaningful labels contributed to significantly better free recall of images than meaningless labels. So I am not sure if this is what you are looking for, but you can take a look.


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