Verbalization produces a transfer inappropriate processing shift

TitleVerbalization produces a transfer inappropriate processing shift
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsSchooler J.W.
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology

When considered in the context of prior research, the articles in this special issue on verbal overshadowing largely support the contention that verbalization can induce a processing shift that interferes with the application of non-verbal operations. Multiple sources of evidence for a processing shift are reviewed, including: (1) verbalization quality often does not correspond to recognition performance; (2) describing one stimulus can interfere with memory for a different stimulus; (3) engaging in a featural processing tasks impairs recognition in a manner comparable to verbalization; and (4) engaging in non-verbal tasks can reverse the negative effects of verbalization. In the light of this evidence, it is suggested that verbalization produces a ‘transfer inappropriate processing shift’ whereby the cognitive operations engaged in during verbalization dampen the activation of brain regions associated with critical non-verbal operations. This account of verbal overshadowing is then used to explain both the generality and fragility of the verbal overshadowing effect. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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