Learning More About and With the Face-Name Mnemonic Strategy

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With the face-name mnemonic strategy, choosing and using ‘prominent' facial features in interactive images can be difficult. The temptation is to stray from less‐than‐distinctive facial features and instead to associate an individual's name clue with an additional concrete detail (e.g., a headband). To examine this issue, undergraduates viewed face photographs with or without additional details under one of three conditions: own best method, fully imposed mnemonic, and partially imposed mnemonic. Experiment 2 examined a somewhat parallel situation that occurs when applying the strategy to abstract artwork (paintings with less familiar, less concrete elements) versus applying it to representational artwork (paintings with more familiar concrete elements). Our findings suggest that some pictorial stimuli (e.g., facial photos with details; representational paintings) are easier to work with mnemonically than are others (e.g., facial photos by themselves; abstract art). Moreover, in both experiments, mnemonic students displayed performance advantages on both immediate and delayed tests.

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Carney, Russell N., and Joel R. Levin. "Learning more about and with the face–name mnemonic strategy." Applied cognitive psychology 28, no. 4 (2014): 569-578.

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