Factors Affecting Ability to Recall and Recognize Product Names: Implications For Legal Liability

Date of Graduation

Summer 2005


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Donn Kaiser


The purpose of this research was to investigate the participants’ ability to recall and recognize product names. The first experiment investigated the effect of delay on the ability to remember product names. Two groups were formed by randomly assigning 101 participants into delayed (a five minute retention period) and not delayed conditions. Both groups mixed together a cleaning solution from individual cleaning agents and then were asked to take a recall and recognition quiz concerting the product names. The results showed that the not delayed group recalled significantly more products with higher confidence than the delayed group. There were no differences found for the scores on the recognition quiz. The second experiment investigated the effect of participant’s interaction with products on the ability to remember product names. One hundred thirteen participants were asked to mix together a cleaning solution and then take a recall and recognition quiz. The difference levels of product interaction consisted of a task condition (mixer or observer) and a product involvement condition (writing down the product names or not writing them down). The results for the recall quiz showed the participants who mixed the solution together recalled more products names than the observers. No differences were found between the two involvement conditions. For the recognition quiz only the interaction was significant; mixers who did not write down the product names recognized fewer products than the mixers who wrote the names down.


product identification, asbestos lawsuits, legal liability, product memory, industrial exposure

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© Philip J. Finley